My top tips to avoid overindulgence & my top tips just in case you do!
20 December 2023 by Jackie Bowker
'Tis the season....for overindulgence!
I’m sure it won’t come as a surprise to you that December is the time for gratification and immoderation and why not?!?! These times should be enjoyed and celebrated without regret and certainly the occasional overindulgence around celebrations is not going to lead to lifelong health issues. But what happens when the silly season is over? Picture this – you’ve had a crazy busy week and the weekend rolls around and your willpower just simply isn’t up to the task of sticking to a healthy plan. What then? This is when sneaky little habits that aren’t serving you or your path to good health, can rear their ugly heads!!!
Understanding why you are over indulging and putting a plan in place to avoid these triggers is a great place to start. Usually it’s due to stress (I’m sure we have all been there!!!), tiredness and anxiety. Plus having lots of something we love, whether it is food or alcohol makes us feel great…..for a short time anyway before regret and undesirable symptoms of overindulgence set in – like headaches, low energy, poor gut health.
Here are my top tips to avoid overindulgence:
- Keep yourself busy – when your mind and body are active it prevents you from thinking about or even acting upon cravings.
- Stay organised – make sure you have some precooked, leftover meals in your freezer for times when you are too tired to cook.
- Don’t keep the things in your pantry or fridge that you automatically reach for – if your go-to is chips for example then simply don’t keep it in your cupboards.
- Exercise – exercise not only keeps you busy but it releases endorphins that make us feel good without the need for a sugary hit.
- Drink plenty of water – keeping up your hydration helps you feel full and keeps your brain alert and clear.
- Don’t go to a party hungry – this is a no-brainer! Have a small healthy snack, a small handful of nuts or a piece of fruit for example before you go. Plus, if you are taking a shared plate to a party make sure it’s a healthy one that you, and others can enjoy – a veggie dip platter or a fruit platter are great options.
- Choose quality over quantity. If you want to indulge in some chocolate for example, opt for a chocolate that is high in cacao (above 80%). This is a healthier, better quality option than others.
But what do you do when you have overindulged? Don’t beat yourself up – enjoy what you have had then move on.
My top tips to help with the aftermath of overindulgence:
- Love your Gut. Perhaps you have eaten foods that you know don’t agree with you or perhaps you simply ate too much, whatever the reason you need to take care of your gut. Cut down on sugar and complex carbohydrates and eat plenty of high fibre foods to help feed your good gut bacteria. Take a good quality probiotic to help re-establish your gut microbiome (I recommend Designs for Health ProbioMed 50) and a gut healing powder to repair any damage to the precious gut lining (I recommend Designs for Health GI Revive).
- Love your liver. Your liver cleans your blood and produces important digestive secretions that help break down the fats and nutrients in your foods. If your gut has been bombarded with excess, whether it is food or alcohol, it may need some restoration. Try drinking herbal teas (Green tea, Licorice, Dandelion, Milk Thistle for example), eat a well balanced healthy diet and avoid alcohol and sugary foods – even for a few days. Your liver will thank you.
- Keep hydrated – Keeping up your water intake is imperative after indulgence – it will help your cells stay hydrated, fresh and plump and help flush any toxins from the liver and bowel.
- Exercise – it doesn’t have to be intensive, just enough to raise a light sweat to help clear out toxins.
- Avoid skipping meals after a day or night of indulgence – don’t try to balance out your calories, it will cause your blood sugar levels to plummet and make you feel even worse. Eat regular meals and a light, healthy snack between meals. Need some ideas?
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