Today’s article takes off from yesterday’s Part 1. Here are more useful tips to help you before and after festivities.
- Mindful eating
Running about while trying to multi-task to get everything done on time makes a person distracted. When you a distracted, you do tend to over-eat as you are unable to recognize the signs of fullness.
Try eating mindfully, i.e., concentrate on what you are eating (and drinking!). Put away electronic devices and set work matters aside while you enjoy your meal.
Chew slowly and thoroughly. This will give your mind time to recognize signals of fullness and to tell you to stop eating.
There are studies that show people who practice mindful eating are less likely to over-eat and gain weight.
- Manage your stress levels
There is no doubt holidays and festivities are stressful. When the human body is stressed, it releases a hormone called cortisol. High levels of cortisol can cause you to put on weight, as this hormone has been linked to increased appetite.
Too much stress also causes a person to have cravings. You may find yourself reaching out for more junk food or sweets, one more drink, or even smoking more.
And to make matters harder, there are lots of unhealthy and junk food easily available during festivities.
Try reducing your stress with breaks for some quiet “my time” where you can slip in some simple meditation, yoga stretches or even deep breathing.
- Eat balanced meals
Take a look at the food-laden dining table and make good food choices. Most main dishes have lots of carbs but are low in protein.
Protein promotes fullness, so it is important to eat sufficient amounts of it during festive mealtimes, and lower the carbs.
A plus point for protein is it increases your metabolism, making protein-based dishes good for weight control. You will feel full faster and automatically lessen your calorie intake without having to sacrifice your favourite dishes. Just be mindful of the portions!
- Do load up on fibre
Fibber is another nutrient that is low in calories and makes you feel full, so do load up on it. You will feel full and also benefit from the total calorie reduction. This in turn can help to reduce unwanted weight gain.
So do go for the vegetables, fruits, whole grains and nuts. Again, be aware of the portion size.
- Limit your dessert and tidbits intake
Main dishes are available at the dining table, but it does not stop there. Snacks, dessert and tidbits are also served, and normally in abundance. After all, with all the chatting before and after main meals, who stops at having just one pineapple tart or cookie?
Try not to sample every available tidbit, and focus on your favourite/s. Take your time to taste and savour the tidbit s.l.o.w.l.y. This may make you feeling satisfied faster, so you don’t go overboard with the desserts and tidbits. Using a saucer helps in this case!
- Limit your liquid intake
Alcohol contains lots of calories – nearly 7 calories per gram! A shot of whisky, gin or tequila contains about 110 calories. Even 12oz of light beer contains 103 calories, 12oz of regular beer contains 153 calories. A 12oz can of premium beer can have as much as 170 to 350 calories.
Mixer drinks have even more calories and sugar. A 12oz can of Coke contains 140 calories, so you can do the rough maths of the total caloric count when you mix Coke with alcohol.
Alcohol consumption is closely linked to increased appetite, hence weight gain. So it would be wise to watch what you drink as well!
- Modify your favourite festive recipes
Nearly all festive food are high in calories. Those who love to cook can still turn out healthier versions of curries,
You can use low fat cream to replace the full fat type. Also for desserts, use Greek yogurt as a substitute for cream cheese and mayo. Look out for low fat coconut milk on the shop shelves.
The sugar content in cakes and cookies can sometimes be safely reduced by up to a third, and the end product will still taste good, though a bit of trial and error is needed to fine tune your recipe.
Our last tip:
- Use your weighing machine regularly
People who weigh themselves regularly are more aware of weight gain or loss, than those who don’t.
You don’t have to weigh yourself after each meal. Just work out a regular schedule that you are comfortable with. It could be daily or a few times a week. Make sure that the time remains the same. For those who are not aware, people tend to weigh slightly heavier towards the end of the day.
Weighing yourself on a regular basis makes you aware of minimal increases and decreases in weight. This is something good, as action can be taken much earlier on.
If you do not like to stand on the weighing machine, another way to keep check of weight gain or loss is your favourite pair of jeans or other clothing. Just make sure you try putting it on at roughly the same time on each try.
We hope that our tips to avoid over-eating during the upcoming festive seasons will be of use to our readers.
The bottom line – start living a healthier lifestyle now itself, and incorporate some exercise in.
It is always important to check with your doctor on any diet change, be it major or minor, especially if you are on medication for current medical issues.
16th December 18:51