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Beating 'lockdown liver'

Lockdowns have a reputation for causing people to gain weight. Boredom, stress and frustration lead us to turn to comfort food and alcohol. But as lockdown restrictions begin to ease around New Zealand, many people are turning their attention to getting in shape for the coming summer. If you’re one of them and you want to get rid of ‘lockdown liver’, here are some tips that may help.

Take a break

Consider having an alcohol-free period (a week, a month, it’s up to you) to let your liver recover. If you must drink alcohol, do so in moderation. More than one or two alcoholic drinks in one sitting will get your liver working overtime, and that can lead to scarring.

Tips for drinking less: 

  • Use different glasses. Studies have shown people pour less wine into narrow glasses than wide ones, which in turn means they drink less.

  • Leaving a glass on the table while you fill it instead of holding it  will stop you pouring as much in. Straight-sided beer glasses with measurement markings slow down the rate at which we drink. 

  • Don’t over-fill. Filling glasses halfway rather than to the brim will also mean you drink less. 

  • Inviting friends over rather than heading out can help you drink less. Plan some activities you enjoy that don’t involve booze and schedule them for times when you’re likely to be tempted to drink. 

  • Do not have excessive amount of alcohol available at home, so it is less accessible. Only purchase small amounts of alcohol each time.

  • Explore new hobbies to distract yourself from consuming alcohol.

Watch your sugar and fat intake 

Too much sugar and saturated fat in your diet can also cause fat to build up in the liver. Calories from sugar that your body doesn’t need can turn into fat. 

Stay hydrated

Drinking water fills you up, so you’ll feel less hungry and won’t be as tempted to over-indulge when you’re socialising. Aim for 8–10 glasses of water a day to stay fully hydrated.

Salad days

It’s hard to beat a good summer salad, and there are plenty of fresh, healthy ingredients to choose from at this time of year You can throw pretty much anything into a salad and make it taste good, and it’s a great lunch, dinner or side dish option.

Seasonal ingredients make delicious salads and will help get your 'lockdown liver' back into top working condition.

Go nuts

Nuts are full of amino acids, good fats and vitamin E, so they’re the perfect liver-friendly snack. And they’ll fill you up.

Move your body

Regular exercise has plenty of health benefits, no matter what age, size or shape you are. Light daily exercise is an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  


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