Sunday, 19 September 2021

After Eight? Not such a great idea.

ONCE again it’s that time of year — the time where we start thinking about how many mince pies we could eat, how many mulled wines we can get away with, and all of this mixed with a sprinkle of guilt and concern over trying to get into that “little black dress” or “DJ”.

Why do we spend so much time worrying about what we eat and what we don’t do? We should all be able to understand that yes it is okay to have a mince pie and mulled wine so long as we haven’t been sat on the sofa all day doing nothing or washing the wine down with chocolate and crisps!

Last month I discussed this matter. Energy balance is key to living healthily and this month I am reinforcing this. If you want to eat a mince pie, then eat it, but make sure it is energy balanced with the foods you have eaten that day and that you have exercised.

Why don’t you write a diary of foods you eat for one week and note the exercise you do each day. How does it look to you? Find a personal trainer or nutritionist to look over it for you or feel free to email it to me.

Don’t fight your way through Christmas feeling guilty — celebrate the festivities with your friends and family and stay healthy (mentally and physically) by knowing what you can and can’t eat and exercise!

I also promote nightly fasting to give your metabolism a boost. This is a great way to control your bad habits of snacking around the clock and getting control of your mental focus towards food and your diet.

New studies reveal that to burn the most fat, you need to go 12 hours without eating — say from 8pm to 8am. To keep pounds off, don’t eat after dark.

Before electricity and all-night diners, we humans used to spend a long stretch every night without food passing our lips. Our metabolisms are hardwired to expect a nightly fast, which is a key time for your body to burn fat.

During the day, your brain and muscles use some of the calories you eat for fuel, and the rest gets stored in the liver in the form of glycogen. At night, your body converts that glycogen into glucose and releases it into your bloodstream to keep your blood-sugar levels steady while you sleep. Once the stored glycogen is gone, your liver starts burning fat cells for energy. You burn fat while you sleep. It takes a few hours to use up the day’s glycogen stores... so if you snack until midnight and sit down to your breakfast at 7am your body may never get the opportunity to burn any fat before you start reloading your glycogen stores again.

Overeating usually happens later in the day and at night-time, which doesn’t help! Willpower gets weaker when we are tired so try and get your calories before 7pm or at least 12 hours before your breakfast, to give your body time to burn fat and excessive calories. Try it!

With all of this in mind I hope you have a good few tips this year to enjoy the festive season.

Thank you for your support in reading this column and for your comments. Keep them coming as it really helps me to focus each month’s writing.

Please feel free to email me anytime at and I will do my best to answer your questions. Merry Christmas to you all.

Emma-Jane Taylor

Feeling Good