Monday, December 19, 2011

Smart Tips To Survive Christmas

“It’s the season to be jolly…”

But it’s also the season of anxiousness, stress and fear of gaining weight.
Research shows that people tend to gain around 2 to 3 kg during the holidays, with an inability or a difficulty losing that extra weight.
During this season, there’s nowhere to hide. Everywhere you go, someone’s after you with a shot of liqueur, some comfits, a box of chocolate and of course the “buche de noel”. You want to stay faithful to your diet and simply say no, but of course, it’s rude! So you give up and often lose control.
We will NOT let this happen! Together we will find ways to relieve you from this burden and prevent this weight gain. Try these tips, and let us know the results!
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The Holidays

Be realistic: Let’s face it: No one’s losing weight during the holidays, well almost. Trying to do so will only bring you down because it’s the busiest time of the year even on the stomach level. So your goal should be to maintain your current weight and prevent any increases.

Learn the word “NO”: You don’t have to say yes to everyone; and if you think it’s rude, then say “No, but…” and try to find a healthier alternative to what they’re offering. For example, when someone says “have some fries”; you can say “No thanks, but I’ll have some more of that delicious salad of yours.” And you’re off the hook!

The Christmas dinner and all the other feasts…


No starvation: When you know you’re having quite a big dinner, you tend not to eat all day so that you don’t exceed your required calorie intake. This is absolutely wrong! Starving yourself all day will only get you to lose control at night and shove absolutely anything in your mouth during dinner. Goodbye healthy! So even though you’ll be eating more than usual, have a good breakfast, a light lunch and a healthy snack. We don’t want you to have dinner on an empty stomach!

Healthy cooking: If you or your mom are cooking, try to either prepare/ask for a healthy dish or modify the recipes so they become lower in fat (less oil in cooking, less frying and more grilling, low fat ingredients, etc.)

Plan your meal: Take a quick look at the dining table. Pick out the foods that attracted you the most, the ones you would definitely love to try and of course the healthiest ones. Try to eliminate the items you can have every day. Now, plan a way to divide your calories. We’re not asking you to count the calories but to have an idea of what your meal is going to look like so you won’t exceed by far your usual calorie intake.

Use a small plate: You don’t like seeing your plate half empty? Easy! Use half a plate and make it full! It will allow you to eat less while trying all the different items offered.

Food choices: Start by filling at least 50% of your plate with vegetables. Research shows that eating a salad before a meal can help you eat fewer calories. Try to stay away from the high calorie, low in nutrients appetizers such as mini pizzas, samboussik, and rakakat.

Eat slowly: Savor every bite you’re having. Challenge yourself: try to be the last person to finish eating, not by eating more of course but by taking your time. That way, your plate will always look full and neither your aunt nor your grandmother will nag about your plate being empty and that it needs to be filled.

Eat only what sits in your plate: We have that habit of picking out of the serving dish: some hummus from here, fries from over there and a lot more. And these are the calories we never count. It s very important to visualize the quantities we’re having. Let the food sit in your plate, look at it, watch how much you’re eating and then start using your fork.

Avoid excess alcohol: Save the calories for the actual food. For tips on how to reduce your alcohol intake, read our article: Raise your glass.

Socialize: When you’re at a restaurant with some friends, you’re chatting and laughing and making noise; suddenly, the food comes and everyone gets so silent because they are so focused on eating. Now, be your own lab rat. Try to engage in a conversation at the table and notice how you eat less and feel full quicker. So this year, focus on catching up with that cousin you never see, that aunt you haven’t visited in a while or that relative that’s coming from abroad, rather than the food itself.
Pause: Give yourself 10 minutes before you fill your plate again to see if you are still hungry.

Don’t leave your plate empty: You don’t have to empty your plate. Leaving that extra food can help you save a lot of unnecessary calories.

Eat until satisfied: There’s a long way between full and stuffed. Make sure you can still breathe at the end of the meal.

Walk away: Try to stay away from the dining table as soon as you feel satiated so you won’t be tempted to eat more. Propose to move to the sitting room as it is “more comfortable”.

Physical activity: Only the courageous ones are reading this paragraph. Yes! Physical activity is very important during this period. First of all, you should consider a physical activity after every feast. We’re not talking about a jog or a basketball game here (we don’t want anyone throwing up). You can simply clear the table, help with the dishes, go for a walk with the family, etc. Second of all, you should exercise more to compensate for the extra calories you’re ingesting. Everyone has more vacation days during this time of year, that’s why you should benefit from this and be more active. You never know, you might make a habit out of it.

Being healthy doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy the holidays. You can simply eat responsibly!

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