10 simple nutrition and fitness tips for staying healthy over Christmas

These tips from fitness bloggers Hazel Wallace and Courtney Pruce will help you beat the bloat on Boxing Day

christmas pudding
Ten top tips to get rid of the sluggishness after Christmas Day Photo: Flickr / Matt Taylor

Cutting out fizzy drinks, avoiding the sprouts and chewing your food slowly are some of the ways you can avoid feeling bloated on Boxing Day.

The health experts at MuscleFood.com have come up with 10 top tips to get rid of the lethargic sluggishness after Christmas Day that doesn’t involve intense exercise or a low-calorie diet.

These tips from fitness bloggers Hazel Wallace and Courtney Pruce provide easy and healthy ways to beat that bloated feeling without going to extremes.

1) Skip on salt

A Christmas dinner can contain over 15.7g of salt alone, which is twice the recommended daily allowance of 6g. Help to slash your salt intake by choosing fresh food over processed foods, checking the label, and steering clear of salt-laden snacks such as crisps and deli meats.

2) Drink up

When we are dehydrated, our bodies fight to retain water, which leaves us feeling bloated and sluggish. Aim to drink six to eight glasses of water a day to help flush out toxins and extra salt in your body. If you find it difficult to drink tap water, try adding lemon, cucumber or mint to make it easier to sip on.

3) Load up on leafy greens

Although vegetables are packed full of beneficial vitamins and minerals, some high fibre vegetables, such as sprouts and broccoli, can make you bloat. Load up on leafy greens like kale and spinach which help avoid the boxing day bloat and reduce water retention.

4) Sip on tea

Have a cup of herbal tea after your meal. Dandelion, fennel, and peppermint all aid digestion.

5) Eat more!

This sounds counter-intuitive, however, if we skip meals to save on calories we’re more likely to crave fast-energy, high-sugary foods. Graze on high protein snacks such as a handful of almonds.

6) Get moving

The last thing you want to do is get exercising when you’re feeling bloated. But some light exercise such as a gentle walk can get everything moving and can help ease that bloated feeling.

7) Go slow

Scoffing down your meals speedily can increase the amount of air you’re consuming whilst you’re chewing, leading to a bloated gassy feeling. So take your time and chew slowly.

8) Eat several light meals

If you’re feeling bloated, eating a few smaller meals throughout the day instead of giant very filling meals can decrease the chance of you feeling uncomfortably heavy and bloated. Try having four to six smaller meals as oppose to two to three large ones.

9) Cut out carbonated drinks

If you’re feeling bloated and heavy post Christmas, avoid fizzy drinks as these contain lots of sugar and gas that will only make your bloating worse.

10) Avoid ‘sugar-free’

After lots of unhealthy Christmas treats, the first thing you’d want to do is opt for the ‘sugar-free’ option. This may seem like the thing to do, but just like fizzy drinks, ‘sugar-free’ foods often contain lots of artificially reduced calorie sweeteners to replace the refined sugars, which can lead to further bloating.

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