Stay at the top of your game with our Christmas party survival tips

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Avoid the major festive pitfalls with expert nutrition advice from Ross Currie...

Christmas fairy lights
It's too easy to go overboard at Christmas, which is why we've teamed up with nutritional expert Ross Currie to find out how we can protect (and prepare) our bodies for the festive onslaught.

If you're prone to pushing your limits (and your liver) find out how to stay in tip top shape below...

1. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day

Despite there being an endless parade of food during the festive period, make time for breakfast – this will ensure your metabolism is fired-up and ready for what lies ahead. A good option is an omelette or a bowl of porridge – both will provide you with energy and be filling enough to starve off any chocolate temptations in the office until lunchtime.

2. Prep your body with complex carbohydrates

If you know you're heading to a party straight from work and may not have time to eat dinner, make sure you're not tempted to fill up on greasy take-away food on your way home by having a filling, substantial lunch such as a baked potato with cheese and beans. This is full of complex carbohydrates, fibre and protein, to give you energy to burn on the dance floor and help your body digest alcohol slower, saving you any embarrassment of "peaking to early".

3. Stay hydrated

With everything else going on at this time of year it's easy to forget the daily basics, such as drinking plenty of water. One of the most common complaints of a hangover is dehydration, which can affect brain, liver and kidney function. It's vital to keep your water levels topped up before, during and after drinking alcohol. If plain water isn't your thing opt for an 100% coconut water such as Go Coco, which also has the added benefits of naturally occurring isotonic properties and electrolytes to restore your natural energy levels.

4. Avoid eating for the sake of it...

This may sound obvious, but it's so easy to reach for another mince-pie or canapé, just because they're there. Try and be "food aware" and ask yourself, do I really need a sixth sausage roll? If there are crudités, such as raw carrot and cucumber on offer, try fill up on those first – you'll feel much better for it the day after.

5. Avoid a food hangover

What you eat can affect how you feel the next day, just as much as alcohol can, making you feel bloated, nauseous and sluggish. Avoid spicy, and fatty foods that are harder for your body to digest and also try to avoid refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and white pasta, as these can affect your blood sugar levels and stop your body burning fat for energy - try and opt for a wholemeal or granary versions to avoid the crash and burn symptoms.

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