With Thanksgiving, Christmas and then the New Year celebrations to contend with, even the least indulgent person must face the inevitable and expected bad news when stepping onto the bathroom scales for the first time in the New Year. For some, this brings a sudden realisation that the weight gained in a matter of weeks might take a concentrated effort over a much longer period to shed once again.


Everyone knows that this will happen. Some try their best to restrict the damage done. But there are few people that can boast that they really enjoyed the winter holday season, with all the splendid fayre, without putting on a single pound in weight. So now is the time to get your mind focussed, your plans laid out and your actions started to get rid of those extra pounds and rid your body of the post-holiday bloat once again.


Try to remember that you are not alone in this quest. Friends and family are just as likely to be suffering and even if they do not want to admit it, their tight clothing will be silently be betraying them and revealing the simple truth. Almost everyone in the northern hemisphere increases weight during the winter months. But all is not lost and here are some great ideas to help you rid yourself of those bloated, sluggish feelings.


1 No Alcohol

January is the easiest month in the year for you to completely stop consuming alcohol. Everyone has had to far much of it over the last 5 weeks and January brings far less opportunity for social drinking. Take advantage of this and avoid any alcohol for the whole month if you can. If you do go out for drinks with friends, be a hero and drink mineral water instead but avoid anything fizzy. This will help you immensely.


2 Water

We all know that we should drink more water. Make a point of trying to drink less coffee and more water every day. Not everyone can drink 8 glasses a day but even if you replace just 3 cups of coffee with water, you will be doing yourself a great favour and it all adds up. This will help you to avoid dehydration too.


3 Fruit and Veg

Try your best to add fruit and veg to your diet, eat it raw if you can as this will maximise the amount of vitamins and fibre that your body can take in from every bite. Try to eat stir-fried veg with Quorn rather than meat. This will give your digestive organs a break and help you to flush your system.


4 Whole meal and whole wheat

If you do not have a wheat intolerance, try to eat more of the high fibre foods like wholemeal bread, whole wheat cereal etc. Keep away from snacks and potato chips as these are high in fat. Increase your intake of wholegrain rice and pasta as these release sugars into your system slowly and will delay the hunger pangs between meals. You can buy supplements at the drug store that come in tablet or capsule form and these will quickly increase fibre intake If you really cannot face any of these high fibre whole foods.


5 Pro-biotic yogurt

Instead of eating sweet puddings that are full of sugar, buy some bumper packs of pro-biotic and preferably organic yogurt or yogurt drinks. These claim to contain “friendly” bacteria that assist your digestive tract.


6 Exercise

You don’t need to suddenly become an athlete but you should at least admit that you need to increase your fitness level if you want to get the most from your new diet plan. Even walking a little further from the car to the shops or the office will use a few calories. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator will also make a small contribution. Every time you walk instead of ride, you will be increasing your stamina and exercising your heart and  your lungs.


7 Relax

After rushing around for the last month preparing for and enjoying the hype of the holiday season, try to take time to calm your body and allow your digestive system to rest. Eating smaller meals will give your body some relief. For a real treat you can also try out some aromatherapy with specially chosen essential oils such as Roman Chamomile, Lavender and Peppermint which can be mixed with a base oil for massage into the abdominal area once a day. Be sure to refer to aromatherapy texts for advice on the quantities to use.


There are dozens of products on sale in the drug store or on line that claim to be remedies to feeling bloated. These often seek to reduce water retention as a quick fix; any off the shelf product should be used with caution under guidance from a professional adviser or doctor.


Using all of these tips, you should easily be able to create a personal action plan to give your digestive system the break that it so clearly is signalling to you that it needs. With a little work,  you may only require a month or so to return to your usual weight. Your clothes will show their approval by fitting you well and showing off your decreasing waistline. The new found comfort will confirm that once again you have been successful in your quest to rid your body of that post-holiday bloat. Well done. Give yourself a great big pat on the back as you make yourself the promise to never allow yourself to gain those unwanted pounds ever again, well at least not before next winter.