Eat Smart during the Festive Season
The December holidays are all about reconnecting with loved ones, partaking in delicious food and overall merriment. ‘Tis really is the season to be jolly! On the flip side lurks the less fun aspects of this time of year: the vast quantities of unhealthy food waiting to be consumed and the general feeling of lethargy that does not motivate anyone to hit the gym.
The end of year often coincides with that general feeling of contentment about how much you’ve achieved in terms of health and fitness over the last 11 months. It can be disheartening to lose all your hard work in a matter of weeks. So, steer clear of dissatisfaction with yourself with these tips.
Limit Your Portions
While the month usually entails an extra intake of food and drinks, you will also experience less sleep (thanks to all the parties), reduction in an exercise routine, and stress. “By now, most know that it’s tough to reduce gained weight and to improve decreased fitness,” said Sigrid De Silva, Senior Dietitian, Nutrition Consultant at Asiri Hospital Pvt Ltd. “Eating the ‘right food’ doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in seasonal favourites, but limit your portions. Nobody is perfect. Don’t feel bad about it, but try to make up for it by eating healthy meals at other times. My advice: either say NO to anything sugary or choose the real thing (think Christmas or love cake etc) in a small, enjoyable quantity. It’s good to remember that the intake of sugar can be addictive!”
Working out will always work towards lifting your mood and help keep those inches off your waistline during this fun, yet trying time of year! No matter how little time you have, do something small, whether it’s a brisk walk or jog for 20-30 minutes, a few yoga moves at home or taking the stairs or walking to work. “Pushing yourself to exercise and eating relatively healthy meals for the most part, will help maintain health positivity,” explained Sigrid. “Plus, those who are engaged in regular exercise are generally more conscious about their food choices.”
Don’t Breathe A Word
If you decide to get on a diet during the festive season, it’s always best to keep it to yourself. You’re probably thinking it’s pretty counterproductive to do this while you’ll be tempted every day, but some of Sigrid’s clients purposely do this to prevent weight gain. “It’s a personal choice and depends on the individual, but whatever your plan, never mention that you’re on a diet at any function or dinner! You’ll draw unnecessary attention, get many unwanted comments and plenty of ‘advice’ from self-appointed healthcare professionals,” she revealed. Your best course of action: keep this knowledge to yourself.
Getting sufficient shut-eye is important to remain well-rested and stress-free during this month. “If you were up late the night before, try to get to bed early the next day as insufficient sleep affects our immune systems, as well as our ability to make decisions and work productively,” explained Sigrid.
Focus On The Other Aspects
The holidays aren’t only about food, drink and presents — there are some things that money cannot buy. It’s a great time of year to rediscover inner happiness and peace of mind, and rekindle relationships with your loved ones. “Genuine friends, comforting hugs, helping those in need, laughter and happiness are some things to also focus on,” said Sigrid.