What you eat has a direct impact on your well-being. Although most people understand truism and try very hard to live by it, Christmas often poses a challenge to the discipline of eating healthy. If you have been watching what you eat since the beginning of the year, you should not let all that effort go to waste over this December. Here are a few simple tips on how you can stay on top of your diet plans this Christmas holiday.
Resolve to Eat Healthy
While this might sound like an obvious thing, it is a lot more impactful than most people assume. For most people, the decision on whether to eat right often boils down to the discipline of reaching for a bowl of fruit instead of a sweet dessert option. That discipline often comes from an inner resolve to stick to your diet plans. Want to strengthen that self-discipline? Start the process by making up your mind that you will stick to your diet this December no matter what.
Ease Up on the Booze
Christmas comes with lots of parties and parties often come with booze. It is easy to indulge in more alcohol than usual over Christmas especially when you are enjoying the company of family and friends. Remember that alcohol delivers only empty calories and causes real harm to your liver and other organs. With that in mind, go for light calorie alcohol or red wine and remember to space out drinks with water so as to stay hydrated. Set a limit early about how many drinks you are going to have at any given session and once you reach it, swap your booze with a glass of water or juice.
Stick to Small Portions
Because of there is always large amounts of food during Christmas, it is easy to stuff yourself to breaking point. Stick to small portions of food at a sitting and wait for 20 minutes or so to determine if you’re full or need a second helping. It takes roughly that amount of time for your brain to register that you are full. Don’t forget to fill up your plate with vegetables if available and if you are the one cooking the meal, ensure that there are plenty of vegetable options as they are vital to our wellbeing.
Eat as Much Fruit as You Can
Fruit is one of those foods that get forgotten during Christmas. Based on your resolution to eat healthy this Christmas, ensure that there is plenty of fruit in the house and make a point of eating as much of it as possible. If you are preparing meals, ensure that you have fruits as an option for dessert. Apart from the health benefits of fruits, it will keep you full and therefore away from less healthy culinary temptations.
Carbs raise your blood sugar level which in turn leads to your body producing insulin that turns the carbs into fat for storage. Proteins help regulate blood sugar and hence reduce the amount of insulin produced. Remember this when you are selecting what to eat at the buffet table or when deciding what to prepare for your family over Christmas.
Drink Lots of Water
With all the activities that come with Christmas, it is easy to forget that we need to stay hydrated, especially because we are thrown off our usual patterns. Make sure that you stay hydrated as water has real health benefits to your body. It also makes you feel full and thus less likely to indulge at the Christmas dinner table.
Give and Give Some More
Christmas is a time of giving so if you have received boxes and boxes of sweets and chocolates as gifts; organize to give some to neighbors and friends who have not received anything. It is a good way to be charitable while at the same time removing these unhealthy snacks from your house. Invite friends to share a meal or two which, apart from the memorable moments this will create, will also go a long way in reducing the amount of leftovers in your house.
Grab a Snack Before Going to a Party
Try and eat something like a fruit or a healthy snack before going to a party. Going to a party with an empty stomach is likely to make you eat the unhealthy snacks that are usually set at such parties. Generally speaking, plan ahead of parties and family get-togethers and ensure that you are adequately prepared to stay away from the snack table. If you are able to influence what is served (for example if you are hosting the party), ensure that there are healthy options for the diet conscious.
Ensure That You Have Breakfast
As much as possible, ensure that you have a full and healthy breakfast at the start of each day. Studies show that people who eat a healthy breakfast are likely to eat less food in the course of that day. Start your day with a protein-packed breakfast such as one featuring boiled eggs or nuts. This way, you are likely to stay fuller for longer and less likely to indulge in unhealthy snacks or to eat large portions of food later.
Nominate Yourself as the Designated Driver
This is a clever tactic to avoid booze at Christmas parties without suffering the social pressure that comes with such avoidance. Simply take up the unpopular role of being the designated driver and stick to non-alcoholic drinks throughout the party. What a clever way to avoid all those empty booze calories and still look cool and considerate at the same time.
It is easy to turn into a couch potato over Christmas because we slow down over this period. Make it a point to be active and move around as much as you can. Take short walks to nearby shops if you can and substitute TV shows for board games that help keep your brain stimulated.
These simple and practical tips will ensure that you stay on top of your diet plans. Remember that a healthy diet is critical in staving off conditions like stomach cancer. This is in addition to contributing to the overall health of your body.