Want to know how to survive the Christmas season without pilling on the pounds? We've got diet guru to the stars, Dr Dukan to share his advice and exclusive new detox diet with us
So we are officially into the season of temptation, but how on earth do we survive the festive period without pilling on the pounds?
Luckily we’ve got French nutrition expert Dr Dukan, the man behind the bodies of Penelope Cruz, Jennifer Lopez and Katherine Jenkins, to lend us his advice how to avoid looking like the Christmas turkey.
‘During winter the best way to eat healthily is to eat lots of vegetables. In England people don’t eat enough vegetables and these are full of essential vitamins and fibre,’ advises Dr Dukan. ‘Also add a gram of Vitamin C to your diet a day and snack on nuts for essential Omega 3 goodness.’
With all the Christmas shopping and partying, gym time is likely to be put on the back burner, but it’s important to keep active even, as Dr Dukan explains, if it’s just for a brisk stroll: ‘Walk for 20 minutes a day, minimum. If you can do more – do! Dance, swim, ice-skate, whatever, but the best exercise is to walk because walking is a natural human activity and it’s easy to do.’
So after all that walking what’s next? A good sleep says Dr Dukan. ‘My secret for having a good sleep is to eat protein at lunch and keep carbs for dinner, proteins are stimulating and will see you through the day.’
Hence the afternoon lull after a heavy lunch then…
Christmas and copious amounts of food go hand-in-hand but do not fear the buffet table, just make your choices carefully says Dr Dukan: ‘It is very difficult when you are in front of the buffet table and canapés but the best guide is to focus on meat, salmon, turkey and nuts, stay away from the sweet stuff!’
Parties, parties, parties – all this socialising is bound to increase alcohol consumption. Stay away from sugary cocktails and opt for wine or spirits and soda says Dr Dukan. ‘The best alcohol is wine and the best one is red. For spirits the best is vodka mixed a lot with soda, ice and lemon slice.’
This sounds like our kind of diet!
And what about Christmas day? All that food! Instead of hurtling all those well-intended healthy intentions out of the window, take the time to enjoy your food. ‘You have to start slowly, have an aperitif, eat your meats and vegetables with water and then after that you can finish off with alcohol,’ recommends Dr Dukan.
Christmas day can be the most stressful day of the year for many, what with all that cooking and the difficult in-laws, and soon that one glass of wine quickly becomes a bottle. So keep relaxed and re-hydrated by making sure you drink one glass of water for every two of alcohol. You’ll be thankful come Boxing Day!
So it’s the New Year and you’ve slipped up on all your best intentions. Time to detox!
Enter Dr Dukan’s brand new diet The Nutritional Stair.
‘It’s a seven day diet for the first week after New Year,’ he says. ‘The first day is only protein. That means lean meat, fish, seafood, poultry, eggs dairy, ham and two liters of water. Add vegetables for the second day and then add two pieces of fruit on the third.’
‘The fourth day, eat the same as you had on the third but add two slices of wholewheat bread. On the fifth day you can have a portion of cheese, about 40 or 50 grams worth and on the sixth day you can have a portion of starchy food like pasta like rice. Make sure you treat yourself to one celebration meal on the last day.’
After you follow the step-by-step guide for a week, you can return to normal, Dr Dukan says. Its a good way to learn the importance of each class of foods step-by-step.