Many people are already worried about how much more they will weigh by the end of the holiday season. It doesn’t help either that TV commercials are already full of recommendations for digestive aids.
Unfortunately, at this time most of us tend to consume larger amounts of not-so-healthy holiday treats and to overeat constantly as we go to relatives and friends where mouth-watering dishes that seem tastier than tastier are laid on the festive table. Nevertheless, weight is not impossible to control even at this time of the year.
We talked with nutrition and lifestyle expert Nikolett Oletics about how we can avoid weight gain during the last couple of weeks of the year.
“It’s appropriate to enjoy the holidays, but it’s not necessary to devour every appealing morsel we see, nor to reform our diet. What I recommend is making more conscious decisions, and I don’t mean only in relation to food,” the specialist told Filantropikum.com.
According to the lifestyle consultant, one of the basics is moderate eating.
“Let’s not deny ourselves all delicacies, but moderate the portions. We should make sure that we don’t eat just because there is food at the table or because that cake or bacon is laid out. Let’s taste smaller amounts and enjoy the flavors without overeating,” he said.
We can also sneak healthy alternatives into the holiday menu, or at least make wiser choices regarding the ingredients we add.
“When creating a healthy Christmas menu, it is worth paying attention to balance, lower fat and sugar content, and the use of fresh, nutrient-rich ingredients. We should look for healthy alternatives to traditional foods. For example, we can prepare low-fat salads, we can choose leaner meat and fish, of which the latter is especially beneficial, and we can eat steamed or fried vegetables as a side dish. In cakes, instead of white flour, we can use whole grain or alternative flours, such as oat flour or almond flour. Instead of sugar, we can use a sweetener such as stevia, erythritol or dried fruit,” suggests the nutritionist.
Liquid consumption is also important to pay attention to during this period. “Many times, the feeling of hunger can actually be thirst. Drink water regularly between meals to help you feel full,” says the expert.
“Besides, it’s also worth being careful with alcohol consumption, because it can make you want to eat even more delicious snacks. Also, alcohol contains a lot of calories, empty, useless calories. Of course, it is understandable if we would like to toast with our friends and family members and relax at the end of the year, but this fact must be taken into account.”
The holiday week is no reason to neglect exercise. According to the lifestyle consultant, it is good to include some form of exercise, whether it is a long walk, a trip to the nearby hiking spots or even the town bathed in Christmas lights. But even going to the gym and doing a thorough, vigorous workout after eating high-calorie foods is not a bad idea.
In addition, during the Christmas season, proper stress management and sleep are definitely essential elements in order to finish the season without gaining weight.
“Many people experience stress when preparing or visiting relatives and friends, and stress predisposes to overeating. If you belong to this group, try to use stress-reducing techniques, such as meditation and reading,” suggests the consultant.
“Adequate sleep is also important in terms of body weight and health. Let’s make sure that there is enough time for rest even in the Christmas whirlwind,” continues nutrition and lifestyle consultant Nikolett Oletics.
Christmas is a time of togetherness and joy, so we should enjoy the holidays by balancing health and happiness as the ideal goal.