Body Buzz – Eat, Drink, Be Healthy!
by Sasha Kanal
The holiday season is upon us, with this comes good food, parties and if we’re not careful, some extra pounds!
We are all acutely aware of the calorie-laden season ahead of us with its delicious mince pies, panettone, chocolate and wine and not forgetting all the party food that’s consumed in the run up to Christmas Day and New Year.
Britons will gain on average between 0.5kg to 1kg over the festive season, which doesn’t sound very much. The issue however according to research, is this weight gain is hard to reverse and people will still weigh more in the March following Christmas compared to what they did the October before. This may not bother many of you – which is of course, fine! Part of me admires this cavalier attitude where you can throw caution to the wind and polish off a box of chocolates or an entire cheeseboard. But for those who can’t or don’t want to indulge in full-on gluttony, there are ways to cut corners and still enjoy treats without pilling on those extraneous calories. Here are my tips for a slightly lighter Yuletide–enjoy!
- Have the odd mince pie yes, but instead of keeping packs of shop bought ones in the cupboard, make your own. Using a jar of good quality mincemeat filling from a supermarket you can make mini versions of this Christmas favourite and even substitute short crust pastry for filo if you fancy that Christmassy taste but want a lighter bite.
- Just Say No! Try to avoid crisps and peanuts at drinks parties and head for the vegetable crudité instead. Although nuts can be a healthy option, ones made with vegetable oil and salt come laden with calories and have a moreish effect meaning you can’t stop going back to them.
- Remember portion control. At Christmas we tend to forget this term, telling ourselves we’ll start cutting down again in the New Year. But exercising a little caution (even just a little) can make things easier for us come January and we won’t feel so deprived after a month of gorging. By all means have a treat, but plan ahead and keep it one and if you’re tempted by a second sausage roll or third glass of wine – have a big glass of water to fill you up and dampen down the urge.
- Eat plenty of protein with every meal over the season, as this is more satiating and decreases cravings for unhealthy carbohydrates and fatty snacks. Similarly eating as many vegetables as you can will have the same effect.
- Make sure you incorporate as much movement as possible over the month of December. Not only will any extra movement such as cycling or jogging burn calories but will also boost your metabolism. Make a concerted effort to get out and walk more. Buy a pedometer or get a free app on your phone to monitor your activity. All it takes is a little bit of awareness and planning on your part to keep things in check.
CAUTION: If you are unsure of any new exercise regime please consult your GP before commencing.