Festive Season Healthy Eating Tips
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By Joash Guevarra
Giving yourself time to relax and unwind is one of the first things that comes to mind when you think about Christmas. Since you gave your best this year, it’s safe to say that you definitely deserve a break to temporarily be free from the hassles of your daily life. However, this festive season is also the time when people are more prone to just laze around.
The shorter days and decreased sunlight during these cold months can affect the serotonin levels in your brain. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, these changes can lead to lower energy levels, leading to the setting of New Year’s resolutions to get fit, lose weight, and be healthier. Moreover, you are also more likely to overindulge in sweets, fatty foods, and other unhealthy dishes. But no worries; these 4 tips can help ensure healthy eating this Christmas. Continue reading this article to know more.
How to Ensure Healthy Eating This Christmas
1. Practise Portion Control
Allowing yourself to eat a lot of your favourite Christmas dishes is great. However, it would help if you still were mindful of what you consume. Shereen Jegtvig, a Nutritionist at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut, says that overindulging in fatty or sugary treats is fine for one day. However, she adds that the problem lies in the fact that you might consume plenty of these kinds of food for several days.
Of course, you don’t have to be strict with your diet all of the time. It is the holiday season, so providing yourself a cheat day is fine. However, be mindful if you must indulge two days in a row. And if you know that you won’t be able to resist the temptation to munch on plenty of sweet treats or savoury dishes, you can try drinking plenty of water to suppress your appetite and boost your metabolism.
But even if you go for a salad and salmon, you should still be mindful of how much you eat. Doing so allows you to digest food easier, maintain weight, control blood sugar levels, and stay energised throughout the day. So always remember that even for healthy meals, overindulgence is never a good thing.
2. Change Your Drinking Habits
Besides being aware of what you eat, you should also be mindful of your alcohol consumption, as it can affect sleep, blood pressure, and weight. According to Professor Kenneth Stoller of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, the key to moderate drinking is planning ahead.
For example, you can tag or bring friends along who are also mindful of their drinking habits. Doing so means you have people to support your goals, making it easier for you to lessen your alcohol consumption. In addition, since alcohol is a powerful diuretic, staying hydrated by drinking water replenishes the fluids you’ve lost. Moreover, eating some food also slows down your body’s absorption of alcohol. According to Lindsey Pine, Founder of Tasty Balanced Nutrition, dishes rich in fat and protein are your best bet at doing it.
And, of course, going for fewer drinks than your usual amount is the safest way to ensure you won’t go overboard with your alcohol consumption. Do these things, and you can have a merry Christmas without worrying about overcoming a hangover.
3. Don’t Eat Too Much Starchy Carbs
Of course, no Christmas celebration is complete without those staple carbohydrate-rich dishes, such as mashed potatoes, gravy, roast sweet potatoes, and more. But, while the nutrient has benefits, you need to be aware of simple carbs.
According to Dietitian Alicia Galvin of Sovereign Laboratories in Dallas, simple carbs can increase your blood sugar and make you gain weight faster, which is problematic if you’re actively maintaining your figure. Moreover, they are carbohydrates that have most of their necessary nutrients removed, causing your body to digest them more quickly. Some foods rich in this type of nutrient are candies, syrups, table sugar, and fruit juice concentrate.
Fortunately, complex carbs are healthier as they contain fibre, essential in maintaining good gut health and preventing blood sugar from spiking. And while you’re thinking about which dishes to add to your Christmas menu, you can add some healthy carbs like sweet potatoes, spaghetti squash, broccoli, and apples.
4. Healthy Foods You Can Eat Over Christmas
This holiday season is when you can finally relax and unwind as the year ends. However, while temporarily forgetting about the hassles and responsibilities of life, you still need to be mindful of your diet if you want to spend Christmas without getting sick or even gaining weight.
Therefore, here are some delicious foods rich in vitamin A, B vitamins, vitamin C, iron, zinc, and more that you can add to your shopping list:
• Cranberry sauce
• Brussel sprouts
• Red Cabbage
Aside from these ingredients, you can also discover plenty of healthy recipes this Christmas.
Have a Healthy Merry Christmas
It doesn’t matter whether it is Christmas or not. Practising healthy eating is essential no matter what time it is. While the holiday season is a time to celebrate and forget about the hassles of your daily life, it isn’t the time to overindulge in sweet treats and fatty dishes. However, don’t let the festive atmosphere pass you by without allowing yourself to enjoy it. Give yourself a cheat day or two. After all, it is the time to be merry!
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