I don’t want to be a wet blanket, (I enjoy a good celebration as much as the next person!) but ever since this festive season has kicked off, I’ve noticed just how much junk I’m eating and drinking, and just how bad it is making me feel. From work Christmas parties to celebrations with family and friends, I’m starting to feel a little bit rounder and a lot less healthy.
I came across these tips by Linda Melone, on how to stay healthy during the festive season, in an article called “Beat the Holiday Battle of the Bulge”. I want to start the New Year fresh and healthy (rather than in my usual position of lying down, punctuated only by the occasional trip to the kitchen for leftovers), and hopefully these tips will help me get there!
- Do not starve
Do not starve yourself all day so you can “eat whatever you want” at the evening’s holiday buffet. Fried hors d’oeuvres and bacon-wrapped shrimp add up quickly. Eat moderately during the day and have a piece of fruit to fill you up beforehand.
- Avoid mindless munching
Position yourself far from the buffet table to avoid absentminded munching while socializing.
- Bring your own food
If it’s a bring-your-own party, bring your own plate of something healthy. Whip up a colorful, low-fat spinach dip or spicy salsa with baked pita chips, for example.
- Don’t overdrink
Limit alcohol intake: Not only is alcohol a potent appetite stimulant, but it drastically reduces your body’s fat-burning abilities for hours afterwards. If you do drink, avoid high-calorie mixed drinks and stick with wine or champagne instead. Four ounces of champagne contains 70 calories compared with 200 calories for a whiskey sour or a 340 calories for a margarita.
- Go for protein and veggies
Think protein and crudités: fill your plate with leafy salad greens and vegetables, and top it off with shrimp, turkey, low-fat cheese or other lean protein.
- Keep your cool
Don’t overreact to overindulging: The “I blew it, so I might as well keep eating …” mentality is self-defeating. One splurge won’t undo a week of healthy eating — unless you let it. If you do overeat or overdrink, just get back on track as soon as possible, and add extra exercise to the follow-up plan to help you feel and look better as you burn off the excess calories.