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How to prepare your body for the festive period

How to prepare your body for the festive period

Christmas.

For many of us, it's our favourite time of the year, and it's easy to see why. We get given paid holidays from work, the sun is shining, we'll visit friends and relatives that we haven't seen in years, and we will typically eat and drink until fit to burst.

That last point is especially true. For the Yuletide period, and indeed most of December as a whole, the month can seem to blur into a myriad of endless parties, meals out with the in-laws, end-of-year drinks, and feasts in front of classic Christmas television.

Indeed, our stomachs, digestive systems and livers are set to be put through their hardest paces in the final month of the year, so let's just take a look at just how much more we eat and drink throughout December and how it can affect us.

Christmas cheer (and beer, and roasts, and pies...)

Did you know that, during the 13th century, Christmas celebrations ran uninterrupted for 12 days straight, with enormous meals served continuously? Though most of us don't stretch quite that far in today's world, we can probably still put away an equivalent amount of food over the festive period.

According to an article published by the BBC, the excesses of Christmas Day alone can cause our bodies to seriously overload on calories - up to 6,000 on average. The same source states that this is the equivalent of some 42 bananas, or almost 24 hamburgers.

The excesses of Christmas Day alone can cause our bodies to seriously overload on calories - up to 6,000 on average.

Would you normally eat such vast quantities in one sitting? Not if you were following any sort of healthy eating plan. Only elite athletes, such as cyclists competing in the Tour De France, or battle-hardened Royal Marines need such amounts to fuel their gruelling days, so just imagine what damage we could be doing to our insides on December 25 alone. That's without even bringing into the equation the many other occasions that you'll be overindulging during this most festive of months. So how can you prepare yourself for the avalanche of food and drink heading into your stomach?

Waist not? Want not!

To burn this off, it can be extremely helpful to have a regular exercise regime in place, as this will help you fry those excess calories and keep an expanding waistline to a minimum. However, it can also be useful to examine not just what we're eating, but what those foods consist of. Of course, this can be difficult when you're offered food and drink from all angles at the various gatherings you may attend over this time, but it's still something to bear in mind. 

Because your digestive system is in for some serious work during December, with cholesterol and fat levels liable to soar, keep an eye out for a natural fat named lecithin. This is found in a great many foods including soybeans, cabbage, lentils and egg yolks. The substance can help us fend off the excessiveness of Christmas in a number of ways.

Christmas is a time of loving an giving - but excessive eating is also a common occurrence.Christmas is a time of loving and giving - but excessive eating is also a common occurrence.

According to WebMD, research has shown that lecithin may well decrease high levels of cholesterol. That's because it can help dissolve fats and other cholesterol compounds, due to its role as an emulsifier. Coupled with sensible intakes of festive food and some hearty exercise, you'll be able to keep your weight in check with good discipline - and we know how tempting just one more mince pie can be.

Drinking alcohol causes plenty of extra work for your liver. For every unit of alcohol that you drink (that's around one glass of wine, or a standard glass of beer) it takes your liver one hour to process. Thankfully, lecithin is thought to help repair and restore the liver, including those affected by excess alcohol consumption.

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How to prepare your body for the festive period

At Christmas, Australians will eat far more than their bodies are usually accustomed to. This can cause weight gain, so what can we do to minimise it?

Christmas.

For many of us, it's our favourite time of the year, and it's easy to see why. We get given paid holidays from work, the sun is shining, we'll visit friends and relatives that we haven't seen in years, and we will typically eat and drink until fit to burst.

That last point is especially true. For the Yuletide period, and indeed most of December as a whole, the month can seem to blur into a myriad of endless parties, meals out with the in-laws, end-of-year drinks, and feasts in front of classic Christmas television.

Indeed, our stomachs, digestive systems and livers are set to be put through their hardest paces in the final month of the year, so let's just take a look at just how much more we eat and drink throughout December and how it can affect us.

Christmas cheer (and beer, and roasts, and pies...)

Did you know that, during the 13th century, Christmas celebrations ran uninterrupted for 12 days straight, with enormous meals served continuously? Though most of us don't stretch quite that far in today's world, we can probably still put away an equivalent amount of food over the festive period.

According to an article published by the BBC, the excesses of Christmas Day alone can cause our bodies to seriously overload on calories - up to 6,000 on average. The same source states that this is the equivalent of some 42 bananas, or almost 24 hamburgers.

The excesses of Christmas Day alone can cause our bodies to seriously overload on calories - up to 6,000 on average.

Would you normally eat such vast quantities in one sitting? Not if you were following any sort of healthy eating plan. Only elite athletes, such as cyclists competing in the Tour De France, or battle-hardened Royal Marines need such amounts to fuel their gruelling days, so just imagine what damage we could be doing to our insides on December 25 alone. That's without even bringing into the equation the many other occasions that you'll be overindulging during this most festive of months. So how can you prepare yourself for the avalanche of food and drink heading into your stomach?

Waist not? Want not!

To burn this off, it can be extremely helpful to have a regular exercise regime in place, as this will help you fry those excess calories and keep an expanding waistline to a minimum. However, it can also be useful to examine not just what we're eating, but what those foods consist of. Of course, this can be difficult when you're offered food and drink from all angles at the various gatherings you may attend over this time, but it's still something to bear in mind. 

Because your digestive system is in for some serious work during December, with cholesterol and fat levels liable to soar, keep an eye out for a natural fat named lecithin. This is found in a great many foods including soybeans, cabbage, lentils and egg yolks. The substance can help us fend off the excessiveness of Christmas in a number of ways.

Christmas is a time of loving an giving - but excessive eating is also a common occurrence.Christmas is a time of loving and giving - but excessive eating is also a common occurrence.

According to WebMD, research has shown that lecithin may well decrease high levels of cholesterol. That's because it can help dissolve fats and other cholesterol compounds, due to its role as an emulsifier. Coupled with sensible intakes of festive food and some hearty exercise, you'll be able to keep your weight in check with good discipline - and we know how tempting just one more mince pie can be.

Drinking alcohol causes plenty of extra work for your liver. For every unit of alcohol that you drink (that's around one glass of wine, or a standard glass of beer) it takes your liver one hour to process. Thankfully, lecithin is thought to help repair and restore the liver, including those affected by excess alcohol consumption.

How to prepare your body for the festive period
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