Everyone loves the holiday season and can’t seem to get enough of the shopping, the parties and of course the scrumptious food. What most of us don’t love about it is the weight gain and belly bulge after. Rarely do we think about the after effects of downing countless alcoholic drinks or munching on irresistible sweet treats while we get into the festive mood.
Even regular gym-goers use the holidays as an excuse to loosen up and forget about their diet for a bit, constantly reminding themselves that they’ll make up for it in the New Year. There’s no right time when it comes to keeping a check on your health because we can’t quite function without it.
Although the weeks leading up to Christmas are the most tempting, with all the parties and dinners to attend, there are always certain tips we can follow to keep our health a priority without skipping the fun:
- Going from one store to the other in search of that perfect gift for grandma can be fun yet exhausting.You might be tempted to rest your tired feet and grab some fried fast food but a healthier option would be to have some fresh salad or a tuna sandwich which is both delicious and healthy.You can also pack a few walnuts or almonds to take along before you head out on your shopping trip.
- Carry a bottle of water with you because all that walking around can make you extremely thirsty and it also discourages you from buying sugary drinks to quench your thirst.
- You can sneak in some exercise and use the stairs instead of the escalators while out shopping at the malls. Also, parking further away from your destination forces you to walk that much more.
- Being invited to a Christmas dinner party doesn’t mean you have to sample everything that’s on the table. Learn to politely say no if you’re not too hungry or are forced to have a second helping.
- Chewing on mint-flavoured gum leaves the mouth feeling fresh and clean and you won’t feel like snacking unnecessarily. Eating or drinking something sweet after having mint leaves a rather unpleasant bitter taste that further discourages you from binge eating.
- Starving yourself before a party is one of the worst things to do if you want to control your diet. Eat small meals throughout the day so that you’re not going to a party on an empty stomach.
- Put on some dancing shoes and impress friends with your fancy dance moves. This will keep your mind off from wanting more food and also burn some calories.
- Opt for fish whenever possible as it is rich in high quality proteins and various essential nutrients, making it a very healthy choice.
- Leave out the appetizers if you plan to have a heavy main dish or if you do order it, share them with your friends.
- Avoid ordering anything that has a thick, creamy sauce.
- If you think you’re just going to add to the calories by having that big slice of cheesecake all by yourself, then share it with someone at the table.
- Vegetarian dishes aren’t all that bad either so don’t be afraid to try them.
- Free drinks don’t mean drinking as much as you can to compete with your colleagues. Limit yourself to a couple of drinks because the more alcohol you have, the more you crave fatty food. Avoid drinks that contain added sugar and if you’re very thirsty, water must be your first choice and not a cocktail.
- Minimize the fried goodies. They’re the most tempting but are definitely not healthy.
- You don’t have to be the last one to leave the party. Make an excuse and leave early if there’s excessive drinking.
Days off At Home:
- Make time for half an hour of exercise daily. You can do this first thing in the morning since it makes you feel fresh and gets you pumped up for the day’s tasks.
- Doing chores around the house can also burn calories apart from getting everything tidy and organized. When done the right way, even shovelling snow can be a great workout.
- Have some low-sodium crackers instead of a bowl of buttered popcorn while watching a movie on TV.
- Snack on carrot and celery sticks to make up for the high-calorie dinners out.
More often than not, we eat without thinking about how much food our body requires. Because of this reason, it is essential to keep in mind the calorie count for typical holiday foods and eat accordingly. The holidays aren’t all about food and drinks, so move away from the buffet table and chat or crack jokes with family and friends. Laughter as they say is the best medicine.
Here’s to happy, healthy holidays!