Share this Image On Your Site
With the footsteps of Christmas and New Year drawing near, many of us would be looking forward to the “COVID-restricted” gatherings and feasting ahead. Amidst the joyous celebrations, and with all those delectable goodies decked out in the most tantalizing manner, one might unknowingly succumb to what I would like to term as “The Festive Binge”. In order to prevent unnecessary weight gains but still not deprive your taste buds from those delicious treats, we have compiled a list of mindful, waist-friendly eating strategies that are aimed to keep you healthy whilst retaining all the festive cheers.
1. Do not skip meals
Some might have the tendency of skipping a couple of meals in a bid to extend their caloric bandwidth for the big feast ahead. This undesirable eating habit places the body in a famished state just before party time, which might not only result in over-eating, it can also prime the body to store more calories as fats. It is, thus, essential to spread your meals evenly throughout the day. Instead of totally shutting out or severely restricting any intake, a choice of lighter meals may be consumed. This not only maintains the caloric and energy balance required by the body, it also offers some form of appetite restraint when facing the festive spread. One good strategy to avoid over-eating would be to munch on some light healthy snacks (baked nuts, milk, greek yogurt, mixed fruits etc.) just prior to attending the event.
2. Controlling that sweet tooth
If our body came with an in-built caloric limiting alarm, it would probably be wailing incessantly when faced with a plethora of sweet festive desserts and drinks. Always keep in mind that sugar is the worst enemy when countering the bulge, consume with care and moderation.
Eat in small portions and avoid going for excessive helpings. As for sweet drinks, substitute them with sparkling or fruit infused water, in the event when such drinks are not made available, it is still alright to have a cup of that classic party fruit punch, but fill up the rest with just plain water or unsweetened beverages (e.g. green tea).
3. Keep those fatty foods in check
Moderation is key when it comes to consuming foods that are overloaded with unhealthy fats. Always practice strict portion control on foods that are deep fried, processed, cream or cheese based. Those that are baked or steamed not only serve as healthier alternatives, but can be as palatable as their sinful counterparts. Also, skimp on fattening condiments such as mayonnaise, ketchup / chili sauce, barbecue sauce and salad dressing.
4. Fiber Up!
Don’t forget your greens! Vegetables, e.g. broccoli, carrots, spinach, chickpeas etc., are naturally low in calories and high in fiber. Fiber helps to keep satiety levels high as it tends to be more filling which, in turn, can keep the problem of overeating at bay.
Fruits serve as great substitutes for conventional sweet party desserts. Not only can they be high in fiber but are also packed with beneficial nutrients and minerals. On the other hand, think of desserts as decorative manifestations of sugar and fats with little or no nutritional value to begin with. With this perspective in mind, one might be more encouraged to choose the former and keep an arms length away from the latter.
5. Keep moving!
Don’t shelf those gym shoes! Be sure to stay focused and stick to your usual workout schedules. With the time constraint amidst the festive buzz, even a 15 minute home-based plyometric / calisthenics workout will suffice. These workouts can boost metabolic rates, which ensure that calories are continually expended even at rest.
In summary, it is important to maintain a good blend of mindful eating practices and exercises so as to prevent the post-festive guilty pang syndrome from arising.
Read more : 10 bad eating habits
By : Alvin Ho
B (Eng), MBA, Certified Allied Healthcare/Fitness Professional (EIMS), Master Fitness Trainer / Fitness Nutrition, Resistance & Endurance Training Specialist (NFPT)