Many people are already looking forward to the scrumptious meals they will have at holiday parties. Health experts, however, warn that the additional pounds people gain during the holidays are not easily shed, which could lead to a number of possible health problems long after the season.
Avoid the usual health issues typically associated with Christmas overindulgence with these seven practical tips to stay fit and healthy during the holidays.
1. Keep your kitchen cupboards well stocked
One way to take in extra pounds during the holidays without being noticed is by ordering high-calorie take-outs when you feel hungry.
To avoid this temptation and even save a few dollars, make sure to keep your kitchen cupboards stocked well with healthy foods such as dried whole-wheat pasta, whole-wheat cereals, beans, dried fruit, noodles, spices and cans of tomatoes.
This allows you to prepare a quick but nutritious meal especially during the evening when you suddenly feel the urge to have a snack.
2. Keep hydrated
You can also satiate your appetite by keeping yourself hydrated at all times. Not only does it help you replenish lost fluids in your body, it also prevents hangovers from setting in after consuming a considerable amount of alcohol at parties.
Each individual is advised to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day. You can do this by regularly keeping a 64-ounce jug of water near you whether you are at home or at work. Make sure to fill it up in the morning and remember to finish its contents by the time your day ends.
3. Avoid drinking beverage high in calories
Holiday parties are sure to include high-calorie beverages such as liquors. While it may be alright to have a drink or two once in a while, it is important to remember that alcoholic beverages contain almost the same amount of calories per gram as fat. Adding sweet or creamy mixtures to your drink also increases the calorie content beyond the recommended amount.
Alcohol can also reduce inhibitions which would prevent you from paying close attention to the type of food that you eat at the party and how much you consume of it.
Instead of downing glasses of liquor, try having a spritzer, diet soda or water at parties. This way, you can save your calorie allowance on delicious holiday meals.
To help you keep track of the calories you take in by drinking alcoholic beverages, remember that 12 ounces of beer contains 160 calories, 12 ounces of light beer contains 100 calories, 12 ounces of non-alcoholic beer contains 32 calories, 4 ounces of red wine contains 85 calories, 4 ounces of white wine contains 80 calories, 4 ounces of daiquiri contains 225 calories and 4 ounces of margarita contains 270 calories.
4. Eat food rich in vitamins and minerals
Keep your mind and body healthy all throughout the season by consuming foods high in vitamins and minerals.
Try eating root vegetables such as turnips, swedes and parsnips, as well as winter vegetables such as kale, cauliflower, artichokes and Brussels sprouts. Aside from being nutritious, these foods also keep you filled so you can avoid having second servings of desserts.
5. Avoid skipping meals
A common misconception many people have is that you can make up for the sweets you consumed in the previous day by skipping some of your meals today. According to health experts, avoiding meals, such as breakfast, does not necessarily lead to weight loss.
Jorge Cruise, a fitness trainer and health adviser, explains that by beginning the day with a healthy breakfast, individuals can help speed up their metabolism and even keep cravings in between lunch in check.
6. Eat at a slower pace
The human brain has a natural way of telling the body that it's already full, but this only triggers about 20 minutes after starting the meal. You can help curb your cravings for extra servings by eating at a slower pace. This allows your mind and body to take in only the necessary amounts of calories needed to function well by the time your brain tells you you're already full.
7. Exercise before eating a big meal at a holiday party
If having a big meal at holiday parties cannot really be avoided, you can offset the amount of calories you are about to take in by going for a workout before attending the event.
The body becomes more sensitive to the production of insulin about one to two hours following a rigorous exercise. This allows the protein and carbohydrates typically found in holiday dishes, such as turkey, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce, to be absorbed by the body more efficiently.
Going for a workout prior to eating a big meal also heightens the metabolism of the body, which would burn extra calories from holiday treats more effectively.
Photo : Richard Potts | Flickr