The holiday season invites get-togethers and merriment with friends and family. Hot chocolate with a Christmas cookie can for sure keeps the cold winter away. But the same food can cause a strain on the arteries and damage the waistline. Do you know that just by eating just 200 extra calories a day, which add up to a few butter cookies — you could pack on one to two kgs of weight over this five- to six-week period? Though it doesn’t sound much, except for the fact that many of us can’t shed the fat we have gained in the holiday season. Sounds familiar?
So how do we enjoy our Christmas treats without gaining that fat or even without any scare of food poisoning and stomach trouble the next day? As the holiday season draws merrier, here are the do’s and don’ts to keep in mind to relish the Christmas food treats-
Balance Your Food
Looking at the broader perspective, a one-time celebration lunch out will probably not affect your health, so enjoy it; however, if you’re going to have a few more than just one, attempt to cut back on what you eat at other meals. If you ate a large meal earlier in the day, have a lighter dinner in the evening, such as a sandwich, soup, or a salad for an effective weight loss. For your other meals of the day, try to select alternative foods low in sugar, salt, and saturated fats.
Don’t Forget the Goodness of Vegetables
A decent serving of veggies with your meal will offer vitamins, minerals, and fiber and help you reach your balanced diet goal.
- Pro tip- avoid vegetables with additional butter, cheese sauce, or salt as a seasoning!
Watch What You Drink
Christmas and the new year are synonymous with good food and a round of drinking with friends and family. However, be vigilant about what you drink. It’s easy to lose track of how much you’re drinking at home, so keep track of it. Check the bottle labels. If you drink spirits, keep in mind that a standard measure is 25ml (slightly less than one and a half tablespoons). Aside from the impact on your health, don’t forget about the calories that drinks might contribute, which can adversely add to your waistline. Remember that soft drinks can be calorie high, so as a healthy alternative, choose sugar-free drinks or water and alternate them with any alcoholic beverages you consume.
Don’t Be a Couch Potato
We know that we become couch potatoes bingeing on our favorite series every holiday season. Beware, you don’t have to spend the entire day on the couch! Christmas is the time for family- go out for a walk, preferably after dinner, to improve digestion, which will even burn the accumulated calories!
Think Before Your Eat
Christmas is a time of plenty, and with nuts, chocolates, and cheese treats everywhere, and it needs a lot of courage to refrain from eating any delicacies throughout the holiday season! But before you mindlessly shove whatever is in front of you into your mouth, take the time to evaluate whether you want it or are just eating because it is on your plate.
Drink Plenty of Water
On the day following a binge eat, make a conscious effort to drink plenty of water, herbal tea, or diluted juice. Avoid caffeine-laden teas and coffee as they contribute to consumption. Even slight dehydration can cause a headache, which may prove fatal, accompanied by the diuretic effects of alcohol.
Have a Healthy Breakfast Post The Binge
Your favorite morning after’ breakfast must be packed with energizing vitamins, proteins, and minerals good for the liver. Eggs are a great breakfast option -they include choline, a vitamin that helps the liver. Add a pinch of black pepper, which helps to increase circulation and speed up body restoration. You can even try a smoothie with seasonal fruits like bananas, oranges, or kiwi — these are high in potassium, which helps replenish electrolytes reduced due to the diuretic impact of alcohol.
The Magic of 80:20 Diet
After a big night out, an 80:20 diet balances your diet, which means eating healthy 80 percent of the time and leaving room for delectable treats on weekends and special occasions.
What is Food Poisoning?
Food poisoning is always a possibility over the holiday season. Foodborne disease, widely known as food poisoning, is a gastrointestinal condition caused by eating contaminated foods laden with bacteria, viruses, or toxins that can cause diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pains, vomiting, loss of appetite, and, in the worst-case scenario, migraines! Symptoms commonly occur within 30 minutes and can persist up to 7 to 8 weeks, depending on severity.
Food poisoning can be a severe problem during Christmas, with one out of every five at risk of experiencing severe symptoms. Here are a few pointers to help you prevent becoming sick this holiday season.
- To keep leftovers fresh, put them in airtight containers in the fridge or freezer as soon as possible. Keep in mind that we are attempting to avoid contamination at all costs! Consume the leftovers within two days.
- Maintain adequate food hygiene and food safety practices. Before handling food, make sure you wash your hands. To avoid cross-contamination, wash knives, chopping boards, and utensils after each use, and use separate chopping boards for raw meats and vegetables.
From everyone at Gigadocs, we wish you a Happy Holiday season, Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!
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