Having A Healthy Christmas & New Year
December is most of the people favorite month of the year. Christmas and New Year is just around the corner. It’s time for gatherings, celebration, parties, gift giving, shopping, and food. For many people, the holidays are an excuse to throw exercise and healthy diet plan out of the window until the new year. Hence, this is the season people gain weight due to excess calorie intake.
On average, we gain 0.5 – 1kg of weight over this festive period. However, if we do not manage to lose this extra weight gain, and the same thing happens every year, after a few years our festive indulgences can lead to considerable gain in weight. People who are overweight or obese are more likely to have heart disease, strokes, diabetes, cancer, and depression.
Below are tips that can help us to stay healthy and maintain our weight throughout this Christmas and New Year.
1. Make healthy food choices
There is usually a lot of food served during a party or celebration. The more food offers, the more we tend to eat. Hence, take a loop around the food before we grab anything. It is better for us to know all the options available before we start to fill the plate. We can get to know what food is available and start to decide how much and what we will eat. Promise ourselves to make half the plate fruits and vegetables.
2. Do not skip meals
Even busy preparing the of party or celebration, do not skip meals throughout the day. Besides, do not have the mindset of skipping a meal in order to eat more festive food during the party. Skipping meals may result in overeating and excess calorie intake.
3. Avoid overeating
Party or celebration meals tend to be in buffet style which increases the chance of overeating. Overeating means excess calorie intake. There are some strategies to avoid overeating. Using a smaller plate encourages proper portion sizes. Eating fruits, vegetables, and salad before a main meal can help to suppress hunger and prevent overeating later. In addition, eat slowly and savour every bite.
4. Drink plenty of water
During party or celebration, many beverages are served. We need to make a wise choice on the type of beverage. We need to make an effort to have 6-8 glasses of water daily. Even a mild dehydration can cause dizziness and headache. When choosing beverages, choose a freshly squeezed juice instead of adding sugar beverages.
5. Limit the alcohol intake
There’s nothing wrong with drinking alcoholic drink during the party, but we need to be a responsible drinker by limiting the number of drinks. As a guide, keep to 4 drinks for males and 3 drinks for females in one drinking session. Never drink alcohol on an empty stomach. Eat something before start drinking can slow down the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream. Stay hydrated by alternating between water and alcoholic drink with the ratio of one to one. Alcohol is one of the major causes of dehydration.
6. Limit fats, oil, sugar and salt intake
Foods high in fats, oil, sugar, and salt are commonly served during a party or celebration. For examples, cookies, cakes, pizza, ice cream, chips, fried chicken and etc. Excessive intake of fats, oil, sugar and salt can contribute to higher risk of chronic disease. Limit to small amounts and choose your favourite one instead of taking all.
7. Maintain physically active
Squeeze in physical activity during these holiday seasons. When heading to the destination of shopping or party, park far away from the entrance and walk to the place.During shopping, take the stairs instead of taking an elevator. After a full meal with friends and family, walk for 20 minutes together as a bonding activity.
8. Opt milk thistle and multivitamins supplementation
To balance the increased intake of alcohol, it is suggested in taking milk thistle supplements to provide support and protection for the liver against potentially harmful substances and has traditionally been used to support detoxification. Increased alcohol consumption significantly affects the water soluble vitamins, such as vitamin C and B vitamins which may be flushed out from the body. Replenish with multivitamins may help to ensure the body biological functions are working effectively.
When we are busy buying gifts for our friends and family during this holiday season, we must not forget that having a healthy body is the best gift we can give to ourselves and our loved ones. Make 2017 our healthiest year! The start of a new year is the perfect time for us to change our old patterns and start building better habits. Let’s set our healthy new year’s resolutions, and stick with it.
- British Nutrition Foundation. 2016. Merry Christmas Survival Guide. [Retrieved from https://www.nutrition.org.uk/healthyliving/seasons/survivechristmas.html , 7 November 2016].
- Medline Plus. 2016. Responsible drinking. [Retrieved from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000527.htm, 7 November 2016].