During this time of year it is easy to get stressed out by all of the additional pressures that go hand in hand with the holiday season. And, because of this, you will likely have seen article after article talking about the best ways to beat that festive stress. Continue reading Enjoying The Holiday Season
As with anything else, alcohol is something that should be enjoyed in moderation. And, the negative health effects of not heeding this advice can soon become apparent!
The number of people choosing to drink less, or not drink at all, is on the rise – which is of course great for the health of the nation! And for those of us who don’t necessarily want to drink alcohol, but still enjoy the pleasure of having a beer, there is an ever-impressive range of alcohol-free beers available!
Stats show that drinking habits in the UK have experienced a change in the last 15 years, with alcohol consumption dropping by a massive 26% between 2002 and 2012! (Source).
Heineken have recently released their very own alcohol free beer, Heineken 0.0 and it is rapidly becoming a favourite amongst those abstaining. Made with the same high quality brewing process as their regular creations, the alcohol is then gently removed afterwards, leaving a slightly fruity taste with the usual malty flavour. I was able to attend the launch of Heineken 0.0 in Barcelona during the Grand Prix and it was heaven to sit on the beach and drink this delicious beer!
So what are the health benefits of choosing the alcohol-free version of your drink of choice?
Well first of all, of course, there’s the calorie count. Non-alcoholic beers contain roughly half the calories of their alcoholic counterparts, making them a better option for those watching their weight. The new alcohol free Heineken 0.0, for example, has just 69 calories per bottle.
Secondly, drinking alcohol dehydrates your body, and your skin will be the most noticeable thing that pays the price for this! When you drink regularly, you will be depriving your skin of the vitamins and minerals it needs to look its best. You will probably have noticed that your face in particular looks puffy and dry after a night out!
Your body will benefit in many ways from sobriety, but your mind will also be much clearer and free of brain fuzz! What’s more is your memory will of course not be affected on a night out when you opt for a zero alcohol drink!
Night time food binges are something many people can’t resist. Even if you’ve managed the whole day sticking to your diet and getting an adequate amount of exercise, sometimes the urge to binge late in the evening wins over your will power! For some this can consist of a naughty snack after dinner, but for others it can involve over-eating late into the night when they should be in bed giving their bodies the rest it deserves. If this sounds like you then don’t worry! You’re definitely not alone and here I’ve got seven great tips to help you avoid this behaviour.
1) Always Eat Breakfast
This might sound obvious to many people but it’s surprising just how many people skip breakfast. Some will say they were too busy for a morning meal whilst others will use new diet restrictions as an excuse not to eat first thing. Whatever your excuse is, stop using it! If you are rushed in the morning then simply wake a little earlier and always choose a low fat, high protein option that will give you a boost before your day has really begun. Eggs are a great option, as is fruit. Or why not try making scrambled tofu with a selection of vegetables on brown toast – delicious!
2) Avoid Calorific Drinks
It is so easy to drink a massive amount of your recommended daily calories. Coffee, tea, sodas and juices can contain shocking amounts of sugar which can cause disruption to blood levels and leave you craving more of the sweet stuff.
3) Eat Regular Meals
Keeping your meal times regular will help your body to form a natural rhythm too. If you have breakfast, lunch and dinner at the same time each day then you will create a balance and your body will be less likely to crave foods at inappropriate times. You should apply this thinking to snacking in between meals too. Healthy light snacks are fine and actually encouraged to help regulate your metabolism but try to be consistent in this too.
4) Include Good Fats
It is important that each of your meals contains good quality fats and a decent amount of protein. Foods which contain good fats are nuts, seeds, avocados, olive oil and coconuts. Meat sources of high quality protein are chicken and fish but you can also get a more than adequate amount of protein from a vegetarian diet by consuming things like leafy green vegetables.
5) Sleep & Relaxation
Comfort eating is something everyone has been guilty of at some point and this can have serious detrimental effects on your diet efforts. Wherever possible, try to avoid stress during the day. Depending on your lifestyle this may be hard for you to achieve but there are several relaxation activities, such as yoga and meditation that can help. There is also a range of breathing exercises that you can do anywhere throughout the day to calm yourself. Making sure you have a regular sleep pattern is also key to avoiding over eating as when your body is well rested you will have a natural energy that will prevent your body from craving sugary snacks as a supplement.
6) Vitamins & Supplements
Taking vitamins and supplements cannot only help keep your body balanced with all the things it needs, but can also help prevent food cravings. For example, Omega-3 contains some essential fatty acids that are considered necessary for human health however the body can’t make this on its own. If you’re not eating enough omega-3 rich foods then you should definitely be taking supplements to counteract this. A daily dose of Vitamin D will help to regulate your hormones and balance your insulin levels. This will lead to less desire for night time binging and a generally improved sense of well-being.
Stick to these three tips and you’ll soon find that any desire to ruin your healthy diet fades away, leaving you with a body that will thank you for it!