December is a far from traditional time for a detox or indeed starting any type of diet, but if you can eat well and drink little during a month known for its excesses you’ll be well on the way to a healthy new year. Of course you would need the resolve of reinforced steel to avoid a few treats and the occasional tipple for the whole of the month, but why not pledge to start off December by maintaining a few good habits? Here are a few tips:
- Give up alcohol for the first two weeks of December. Sure, it’s ok to let your hair down over the Christmas holidays but give your liver a couple of weeks off to prepare. Then, when the party season kicks in, make sure that you alternate alcoholic drinks with a glass of water. You’ll feel better for it the next day.
- Eat plenty of fibre. You’ll probably eat plenty of stuff that isn’t very good for you over the festive period so stock up on fibre found in brown bread, pulses, grains, fresh fruit and cereals. Foods high in fibre will get your digestive system moving efficiently before the Christmas rush!
- Make sure you eat enough protein as well. Concentrate on white meats, fish, eggs and pulses. If your diet lacks protein your body will begin to draw on the protein in your liver, and this is one organ in your body that will have plenty of work to do anyway later on in December.
- Drink lots of water. You can do this all the way through December. Try and get through at least a litre of water per day and this will help regulate your body temperature, keep your skin moist and flush out the toxins that are already there, or that you pump into your body at the office party.
- Take plenty of exercise. Sitting in front of a television watching Santa The Movie isn’t going to shift any pounds, especially if you’re doing it with a glass of wine and naughty nibbles. Pledge to get to the gym or go for a run at least three times a week until mid-December and then take a long walk every day if you’re off work for a period.
- Watch your salt intake. Christmas party foods and snacks often have high levels of salt which can lead to high blood pressure. Cut right down on salt for a few weeks and then be careful what you eat over the holidays.