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Let the holidays be-gin

Updated: Dec 21, 2020

Hump Day Health Hack with @amysfitnessandnutrition

We’re all looking forward to a celebration over the holidays! Christmas Day is within cork popping distance, parties are in full swing and I think we’re all very ready to see out 2020 in some serious style! But the festive season can take its toll on our health (and livers) if we’re not careful. And so this week’s health hack is not to tell you to rein it in, but rather how to manage your fun to mitigate any potential holiday season hangovers lingering into 2021.


Contrary to popular belief alcohol doesn’t ‘make you fat’ – it stops you from burning your own body fat, by providing another fuel source. Your body can’t store alcohol and so has to process it for energy before anything else. So, if you are on a health mission it isn’t your best friend, but (as you know) the medicinal benefits of relaxing with friends over a glass of Central Otago’s finest can outweigh the downsides.


It’s worth noting that when you have had a few drinks, any mindfulness when it comes to eating well tends to go somewhat out the window, as our inhibitions come crashing down. It also messes with our feelings of satiety and so we tend to eat more when we’re drinking than when we’re not. Midnight Fergburger anyone? It goes without saying it can also have detrimental effects on our mood, behaviour, and mental clarity. But that’s enough of a lesson.


I officially recommend trying to be mindful of your alcohol consumption, but if you’re looking forward to a tipple or three over the holidays, you can try and limit it’s damaging effects on your waistline by trying to stick to natural (non-sugary) sources of alcohol.


- Gin & Soda – gin is delicious and mixed with soda water is very low in sugar. Check the labels of any RTD options as a lot of these have added sugar.

- Margaritas – Tequila, Cointreau, Lemon/Lime Juice and Salt Rim -Tequila is one of the cleanest forms of alcohol – made from the agave plant - the lemon and lime juice blunts the bodies insulin response to the alcohol and contains anti-oxidants (detox as you go…)

- Wine; Bubbles (Champagne, local Brut, Prosecco and Cava) generally have lower levels of sugar than still wine. Quartz Reef even make a version of their Methode Traditionelle with zero residual sugar - that also tastes delicious (my new fave…).

- Local Pinot Noir (including rose) is one of the best forms with the lowest residual sugar of any wine and will contain antioxidants. Still Wine: Be wary of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris, which can have high levels of residual sugar.

- Low carb beers are better than ordinary beer so are great and refreshing when you feel like one. But bear in mind that the gluten they contain can affect your gut and make you feel bloated/ fatigued and could potentially lead to reaching for more snacks to pick yourself up. Pure Blondes & Speights Ultra contain around 2g of carbs per bottle versus 10g in original Speights.


Send in your Christmas ‘Cheers’ with your healthy tipple and we’re share them with the Central Fitness family!

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