HYDERABAD: Holidays provide a good excuse for over indulgence. Extra weight gained during the holidays accumulates through the years and may be a major contributor to obesity in later life. Many of these holiday goodies pose a direct challenge to a healthy eating plan that you have tried to adhere to for the last eleven months. Whether you are at home, a friend’s house or at the office holiday party, the temptation to overeat is lurking at nearly every table you pass.
Trimming the calories
Many traditional holiday foods are loaded with fat and calories. This doesn’t mean that all of your favourite foods are off limits. Look for ways to make them healthier, by trimming some of their fat and calories.
Here are some simple ways to slow down fat consumption from holiday foods. Firstly, begin your day with a substantial breakfast that includes protein. Protein takes longer to digest and helps you to feel full for much longer. Secondly, never arrive in a party on an empty stomach. Eat a small salad or other low-fat snack before leaving. This will help you from overeating at the buffet table once you are at the party. Also, sugar cravings are on the rise around this time making you consume more sugary carbohydrates, which in turn makes you crave more sugar. To avoid this vicious carbohydrate craving cycle, eat foods that are low on the glycemic index. By consuming only complex carbohydrates, the cravings will disappear and satiety levels will rise.
Above all, try to maintain a nutrition journal where you write everything down. Most of you will be surprised at how quickly those little tastes and bites add up to an extra 500-1000 calories per day. Three holiday cookies each day for a week equals 1.5 extra pounds. Think about how hard you will need to work after your holiday to get those extra pounds off. The holidays are not an ideal time to try to start a diet. Rather, your goal should be to maintain your weight during this time frame.
If you should decide to indulge in a piece of chocolate or some dessert, don’t deprive yourself. Simply cut back on calories elsewhere during the rest of the day or spend a few extra minutes on the treadmill during your workout routine.
Use exercise to relieve stress
Extra shopping and social events will strain an already overloaded schedule. Indulge yourself with stress-free time where the focus is on your workout. Your workout and/or cardio session will release endorphins that are a natural mood elevator. Malls are wonderful places to walk, out of the elements and climate controlled.
If time is limited try to park your car as far from your stop as you can. Besides, the gyms are quiet at this time of year so you will be able to get in and out quickly. Make the most of this period of uninterrupted solitude and focus on creating a legendary physique.
Follow these simple tips through this holiday season, and start the New Year without the gift of unwanted pounds. Remember, sticking to a solid nutrition and exercise program enhances mood, reduces stress and improves overall health. You want to start the New Year feeling good about yourself.
Dinnaz, fitness expert