Christmas is all about fun, family, love and, of course, FOOD. We cannot imagine holidays without turkey, beef, special sweets, cake and alcoholic beverages. Eating options are too many during festive days. But beware of the dark side – WEIGHT GAIN.
A recent study shows that we consume approximately 3,000 calories for our Christmas dinner – more than the total recommended daily intake for an adult! Health experts warn that the additional pounds people gain during the holidays are not easily shed, which could lead to some health issues long after the season. Here are our tips to avoid the health issues typically associated with Christmas overindulgence and enjoy the holidays without the weight gain.
Make sure to keep your kitchen cupboards well stocked
One way to gain weight during the holidays without being noticed is by ordering high-calorie take-outs when you feel hungry. So, make sure to keep your kitchen cupboards stocked well with healthy food items. Ensure that you have enough stock of dried whole-wheat pasta, whole-wheat cereals, noodles, spices, beans, dried fruit and other necessary items. This step will help you prepare a quick and healthy meal especially when you suddenly feel the urge to have a snack.
Indulge in only the most special holiday treats
Don’t completely deprive yourself on festive days. Your choices for food will be plenty during holidays. Train yourself to indulge in only the most special treats and keep your calorie intake on track. If you indulge in every food items available, you’ll end up overeating.
Avoid drinking beverages high in calories. Yes, this is also about alcohol
Holiday celebrations are sure to include high-calorie beverages. But remember that alcoholic beverages have almost the same amount of calories per gram as fat. Adding creamy or sweet mixtures to your drink also increases the calorie content.
- 4 ounces (29.57ml) of daiquiri contains 225 calories
- 4 ounces (29.57ml) of margarita contains 270 calories
- 4 ounces (29.57ml) of red wine contains 85 calories
- 4 ounces (29.57ml) of white wine contains 80 calories
- 12 ounces (354.88ml) of beer contains 160 calories
- 12 ounces (354.88ml) of light beer contains 100 calories
- 12 ounces (354.88ml) of non-alcoholic beer contains 32 calories
Alcohol can also reduce inhibitions at parties and convince you to consume a lot of food. So reduce alcohol intake and try having a diet soda, spritzer or water at parties. This way, you can save your calorie allowance on tasty holiday meals.
Keep yourself hydrated at all times
Drink enough water guys! You can also satisfy your appetite by keeping yourself hydrated at all times. The habit can help you replenish lost fluids in your body. It can also prevent hangovers from setting in after consuming a considerable amount of alcohol at parties. Each is advised to drink at least three liters of water every day.
Consume food rich in vitamins and minerals
Have foods high in vitamins and minerals. Your diet must include root vegetables such as turnips and swedes, as well as winter vegetables such as kale, artichokes, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. Apart from being nutritious, these foods also keep you away from high-calorie foods. Also, eat a lot of fruits. Ensure that your holiday shopping enables you to fill up the fruit bowl every day.
Don’t skip your meals
This is a common misunderstanding that skipping meals can help stay fit. You cannot make up for the sweets and extra calories you had in the previous day by skipping some of your meals today. Avoiding meals, such as breakfast, does not lead to weight loss and make you healthy. Experts say that beginning a day with a healthy breakfast can help speed up your metabolism and even control cravings.
Eat at a slower pace
Naturally, the human brain has a way of telling the body that it’s already full. However, this only triggers about 20 minutes after starting the meal. By eating at a slower pace, you can help control your cravings for extra servings.
Keep an eye on the gravy and sauces
You may not have control over what’s being served at a holiday meal. But you can make the turkey, roast beef, and even mashed potatoes and stuffing much better and healthier by avoiding the gravy or sauce or spooning on just a small amount.
Focus on fun, not food
For many of us, having food is the fun during holidays. We will have plenty to eat at home. But that doesn’t mean food has to be the main focus during your celebrations. Instead, throw yourself into the other activities such as decorating, caroling or tree trimming.
Don’t sit down all day, find time to exercise
Holidays can be fun with television programs. But sit on the sofa all day watching something that happens in others life! Understand that your life is different, so make you own plans to enjoy life. Encourage the whole family members and friends to get out for a walk at some point. More the activities, better the results.
Good habit: Staying physically active during the holidays.
Healthy benefit: Gaining less weight over the years.
What research tells us: A recent study found adults gained, on average, more than a pound of body weight during the winter holidays. The study adds that they are not likely to shed that weight the following year. On the other hand, the people who reported the most physical activity through the holiday season gained less weight. Some even managed to lose weight.
Happy holidays to you! Have fun!