WellBe Company


Who doesn’t love a good “Girl’s Night Out”? Drinks… friends… memories you do (or maybe don’t) remember. But all too often we find ourselves using one too many tequila shots as an excuse to make poor food (and life) decisions. Fun-filled nights turn into mornings of regret and guilt when we see the evidence of the late night fast food binge littered on our bedroom floor. But this doesn’t need to be the case. With just a few small smart tweaks, you can feel great all night long and help stave off the post party boozy-blues the next day.

Let’s set the scene.

You’ve organized a long overdue girl’s night out with 5 friends this Friday. You’re notorious for going all out when you’re together and you’re no stranger to 24 hour hangover recovery turnaround times either…

It’s 5am on Friday morning and instead of hitting the “snooze” button one or 6 times, you get dressed and head off to the gym.

Getting an early morning workout in first thing will not only raise your feel-good endorphin levels, but also help boost your metabolism and pre-burn off some of those liquid calories you intend on consuming later. During your workout, make sure to maintain a high-intensity tempo to keep your heartrate high and target large muscle groups like your legs and back to maximize the potential calorie burn. Think supersets, circuit training and lots and lots of sweat.

If ever there’s a day to hit your water goals, it’s today.

Those frequent bathroom trips and hours spent standing in the line for the ladies’ loo aren’t a coincidence. Alcohol is a diuretic and often leaves a person in a mild state of dehydration following a night out drinking. Make sure to consume 500ml-1L more liquid than you would normally, either in the form of plain water, calorie free flavoured drink options or herbal teas.

*Health hack- Herbal teas, such as green tea, have been shown to promote liver health and wellbeing and is a great and tasty way to potentially help buffer the negative effects of alcohol consumption on the body.

Your typical Friday croissant or muffin fix for breakfast just won’t cut it.

If you know you’re going to be going out in the evening, a safe general nutrition strategy is to make food and meal choices that are high in micronutrients but lower in calories. This allows you to “bank” a few extra calories for the evening when you need them most. Processed and highly refined foods, such as pastries, are calorie-dense food options that spike your insulin levels and inevitably leave you feeling low and sluggish. Opt for a well-balanced and nutritious start to your morning with an oat, frozen berry and whey protein smoothie, poached eggs and avocado on rye toast or a small bowl of gut-friendly Greek yogurt, fruit and a sprinkling of raw muesli and seeds.

Crunchy water is your snack food BFF.

Regular alcohol consumption can hamper your body’s immune system and wreak havoc with your hormones. Raw fruit and vegetables are nutritional powerhouses packed full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which act to counteract some of these negative effects. If that wasn’t enough, they’re also naturally high in water and fibre, meaning they can help you stay hydrated and feeling fuller for longer. Pair sliced apple or vegetable crudités with unsweetened nut butter and hummus respectively and you have the perfect healthy go-to snack.

“Kankles” are never a good look.

Sitting for prolonged periods of time, such as at your desk at work, can lead to poor circulation and subsequently promote water retention in the feet and ankles. Be sure to take frequent breaks to go walk around. Better yet, take a stroll outside during lunch time so you can soak up some mood-boosting Vitamin D, work on a light sun-kissed glow and brainstorm your outfit for the evening.

*Just some woman to woman advice- take full advantage of “casual Fridays” and use it as an opportunity to wear flats or pumps to work. This way you spare your feet for the killer heels you plan on wearing tonight.

Speaking of lunch…

Keep it light and simple. Choose a lean protein option such as grilled chicken or lean beef and pair it with a couscous and roast vegetable salad, or bundle it up in a lettuce or small whole wheat salad wrap.

Hellooo Happy Hour!

But first, don’t forget to eat dinner. Like, actual dinner. We’ve all made the mistake of going out drinking on an empty stomach. And it never ends well. Without a decent meal in your stomach, any alcohol consumed quickly diffuses into your blood stream and it’s always a slippery (often blurry) slope down from there. Try to consume a protein and healthy fat-based meal before drinking. This will help reduce muscle protein breakdown and, due to the delay in gastric emptying, both these nutrients can naturally control the rate at which your body absorbs alcohol. A great option is salmon, or any oily fish of choice, paired with a small serving of green vegetables and brown rice or quinoa.

*Health hack- Squeeze over some fresh lemon or lime to add a citrusy zing to your meal as well as help alkalise the body. For additional liver support, a milk thistle supplement can also be used which has been shown to help ameliorate the acute negative effects of alcohol ingestion.

Shaken, not stirred.

Simply put, alcohol is viewed as a toxin by your body. As alcohol is consumed, the metabolism of protein, carbs and most importantly, fat are all put on hold, and the focus of the body is turned to metabolizing and getting rid of the newly introduced alcohol as quickly and efficiently as possible. In short what this means is that while drinking, your body’s ability to burn fat is hindered and fat storing capability is increased. This a double-whammy for the bikini body department. Sugary alcoholic drinks and fizzy mixers can exponentially increase the calorie damage of any drink choice. Instead, for a more figure-friendly option, go for wine (sparkling or dry white being the lowest in calories) or choose drinks neat, over ice or use sparkling water or sugar free drinks as mixers.

Pick your poison, carefully.

Whiskey, cognac and tequila are known to contain higher amounts of congeners. Congeners are naturally occurring toxic products found in alcohol and have been shown to result in more intense and frequent hangovers than clearer spirits such as vodka, gin or white rum.

I’ll have one extra-large pizza with a side of regret, please.

We all know that stop off at the nearest fast-food restaurant on the way back home from a night out all too well. And it’s this often >1000 calorie meal that is the main culprit for the scale going up. If you need to pick up something on the way home, make it something high in protein and try go for the “realest” food option on the menu. Better yet, make sure you have healthy and delicious leftovers ready and waiting to be heated up in the microwave for when you get home. My go-to? A steamy bowl of lean beef or chicken meatballs in a tomato and garlic sauce.

One last night cap?

You’re exhausted and are about to fall face first into bed. Hopefully you’ve been alternating between alcohol and water throughout the night, but if you forgot to properly hydrate, have some coconut water (or any available electrolyte supplement) before bed, ideally with a pinch of salt. The potassium and sodium will you’re your body rehydrate and is a great tasting way to prevent a hellish hangover in the morning.

So… brunch?

Sleep deprivation will only make you feel worse the next day, so don’t feel bad about getting in some extra recovery Z’s. Make sure your first meal of your day pack’s a protein punch (eggs are always a winner) to kick start your metabolism again. Pair your breakfast with a fresh green juice (no not a Bloody Mary) to flood your body with some much needed nutrients and water and get you psychologically feeling good again. If you’re up for it, get your body going too with some yoga, walk or a light run outside.

Round two anyone?