Strange as it might sound, I believe that a key way to avoid party season weight gain is to give yourself permission to indulge. My reasoning is simple: evidence suggests that restrained eaters generally don’t eat fewer calories overall, yet have a much less happy time having to deal with all the eating guilt.Of course, allowing yourself to enjoy ‘naughty’ foods can feel a bit weird if you’re normally a bit obsessive about eating clean. So, here are my three top tips to make sure you’re still 100 per cent in control.Be mindful. Pause in the middle of a meal or party buffet and ask yourself how the food is really making you feel, and what your current of level of fullness is. It’s all too easy to just eat right past those feelingsof being full and go into the uncomfortable zone without being aware of it at the time.Pick your treats – your aim is to ‘spend’ calories on the foods you really like and notwaste them on the ones you like less. When you have a banquet laid out in front of you, take a minute to decide which choices will really tickle your taste buds, rather than just piling your plate.Don’t preload booze. Guzzling a drink too fast and on an empty stomach can lower your inhibitions and mean you no longer make sensible choices about food. To stay more in control and dial back on later guilt, keep alcohol to meal times only.



No one knows exactly why some of us absorb the red pigment in beetroot and others harmlessly excrete it (you know that moment when you look in the loo and see your pee and poo looking pink), but genetics is thought to be only part of the reason.What’s more interesting is that the effect is much more common in people with an iron deficiency – whereas only a minority of the general population see red in the toilet bowl, up to 80 per centof people with anaemia are affected.Does this mean you should worry if you get pink urine? Not necessarily – if you’ve always noticed this affect after eating beetroot, you’re probably one of the 10-14 per cent who routinely experience what’s known as ‘beeturia’.However, if you’re experiencing it for the first time, it may be worth talking to your doctor to get your iron level checked – particularly if you’re experiencing other symptoms such as fatigue and hair loss.


Q How can I adapt my diet to reduce the symptoms of acid reflux?

A Acid reflux occurs when your stomach acid leaks up, in the wrong direction, from your stomach into your oesophagus. There are several foods that can exacerbate the burning sensations of reflux, but common foods include alcohol, coffee and spicy foods. However, everyone reacts differently and it’s probably just as important for you to change how you eat – concentrating on eating slowly in a relaxed manner, chewing well and keeping portions small. A new study also showed that a plant-based Mediterranean diet teamed with alkaline water (try Saka, £1.50 for 5l; improved acid reflux symptoms as effectively as medications that reduce stomach acid.

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