Look (and feel) great during the holidays
These tips will help. Promise!
This season is almost everyone’s favourite time of year. Decorations are up, events and festivities galore, with copious amounts of food and drink almost everywhere you turn. So it’s important to approach the season with a good plan for enjoying it completely, but not going crazy, as it would be a real shame to throw away months of hard work with routine exercise and healthy eating, if you’re to pack all those pounds back on overnight. So here are a few very practical tips on how to manage the season, with no compromise on the fun:
Forget fad diets
Irrespective of age or stage in life, we all want to look our most glam best wherever we show up during this festive time, don’t we? Still a pound or two to go? a fad diet is certainly not the answer. “Extreme diets don’t promote well-being,” says Sigrid De Silva, Senior Dietician, Nutrition Consultant with Asiri Hospitals. “Diets like these can lead to extreme health issues, and although you may see promising suggestions via social media, crash diets always crash and do nothing to improve your health.” Sigrid recommends reducing the calories you consume at dinner instead of trying a diet.
Maintain an overall healthy lifestyle
We know, this is easier said than done, especially during this time of the year. Social calendars are full, sometimes with more than one event to attend each night, leading to plenty of over-indulgence. “We should be natural, true to ourselves and accept the way we are and/or work at changes in a sensible way,” explains Sigrid. How do you do this? She suggests 4 areas to focus on:
- Drink plenty of water.
Drinking 1 litre for every 30kg of your body weight each day is recommended. Sound difficult? Add sliced lemons or cucumbers to your water to add a little flavour.
- Exercise regularly.
Try to include cardio and strength training 2-3 times a week each and give your body 2 days to rest. Of course, this will vary based on your personal requirements. But, it’s vital to keep moving.
- Avoid sugary food and drinks (including juices).
They’re fast calories to absorb, but are as hard as any other to get rid of.
- Get sufficient sleep.
Amidst the festive craziness and work, you will invariably be sleeping less. But make it a priority to catch a solid 6 hours of shuteye each night. Your mind and body will thank you for it.
Stay off social media…
…or at least limit the time you spend on it. “Social media, as well as TV programmes, revolve around and promote a lot of food and drink,” reveals Sigrid. “this often leads to subsequent excessive eating. The only way to curb such temptation is to either completely cut out or to limit one’s exposure to such content. We are genetically geared to feel the need to eat on seeing/smelling food, as such, it is easy to fall prey to unnecessary food consumption this way. This, in turn, will increase calorie intake followed by weight gain.”.
Keep the details to yourself
If you decide to go on a diet, it’s best you kept this information to yourself, especially at parties. “Just be sensible and make smart choices, or eat a little bit of everything you have not tasted in a long time,” recommends Sigrid.
Prep like a pro
Finding the time to prepare meals is tough. But, it’s the little hacks that can save time in the kitchen and make sure you stay on track. Here are Sigrid’s recommendations:
- Prepare a shopping list for at least 7 days
- Plan your meals 1-3 days ahead
- Healthy meals don’t need to be elaborate
- Rice or other prepared starches can be safely kept in the fridge for up to 3 days
- If coconut milk is not added, protein dishes can be stored for up to 3 days in the fridge, up to 3 weeks in the freezer
- Vegetables should be prepared fresh; it can be a simple 5-minute stir-fry or a salad
- Many meals can be prepared within 30-45 min via microwave or other cookers
With these tips in mind, you’ll be ready to take on December and experience a healthy, well-balanced season!
Asiri Central Hospital
114, Norris Canal Road, Colombo 10
T: +94 11 4 665500