5 ways to overcome the 'holiday hangover' – Nutrition Kitchen HK

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Get back to a routine

Perhaps the most important part of any post-vacation reset. The worst thing you can do once you’re back to normality is overcompensate by radically lowering your calorie intake in an attempt to balance out the previous week of self-indulgence. We’ve all done it at some point, most likely through a feeling of guilt, but if anything, diets that rapidly cut calorie intake do the exact opposite of their purpose. 

By skipping meals or reducing meal size to below what ‘normal’ used to be, you’re only making yourself hungrier, increasing cravings for sugary, calorie-dense foods. 

The best thing to do is add plenty of protein to your meals in the following days. This will help satisfy your appetite throughout the day.

 

 

Avoid added sugar

On holiday, the cocktails may flow (whatever you do, don’t look at the sugar content of Pimm’s) and the eating of dessert may seem almost ritualistic, but try to avoid such processed foods and sugar laden drinks upon your return. 

Natural sugars like those present in fruits are not bad for health and can be beneficial to us. The natural sugar in fruit comes with a whole lot of vitamins and minerals which provide antioxidants to boost your body’s functionality and fibre intake. 

However, processed sugar, like those found in cakes, cookies or soft drinks are bad for you. They’ll make you feel inflamed and any ‘holiday hangover’ will simply continue. 

 

Drink lots of water

Drinking alcohol on holiday, or even just the journey back home from vacation can leave you dehydrated, make you hungrier and cause poor blood circulation. As a result, you’re more likely to feel bloated and sleepy.

As we’ve highlighted before in a blog post, making sure to regularly sip a glass of water also helps lubricate the joints, moisturise skin, boost energy levels and satiate hunger. All very necessary after a week of vacation.

 

 

  

Resume an exercise routine

A lot of us conveniently ‘forget’ to bring trainers and gym gear with us when we go on holiday. And why should we? Sometimes a complete rest means a complete rest, which is entirely fine.

However, while taking a week break from activity won’t make you lose all your previously hard earned strength and endurance, it can reduce some of the gains you’ve made. This plateau can be somewhat discouraging. The way to overcome this is to schedule some high-intensity sessions upon your return.

Even though this might sound daunting, remember you’ve just had a week off, which should mean you’re quite refreshed – as a result, the sessions shouldn’t feel as hard as you might think. Not only will they help you burn calories, but fitness is proven to boost your mood and keep you focused. 

 

Eat clean and green

After a holiday full of treats, usually our healthy gut bacteria are not in the best state. As a result, it is best to consume plenty of prebiotic vegetables for at least a week upon return. Artichokes, Asparagus, Garlic – all help to ward off inflammation and further weight gain. 

In addition, eating foods high in fibre help eliminate the feeling of bloatedness. 

Including some cooked spinach in your diet offers over 150 mg of magnesium, which helps lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol and boosts lipolysis, a process through which the body breaks down fat in the adipose stores. As we’ve mentioned before, reduced stress levels help keep emotional eating at bay. 

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