Christmas is a time of fun, festivity, and, of course, food. Despite falling in the full force of summer, a typical Christmas meal includes turkey, glazed gammon, leg of lamb, roasted potatoes, accompanied with a range of salads, side dishes, and desserts like brandy infused Christmas cake, trifle, mince pies, koeksisters and malva pudding.
Amidst all the excitement, you may be wondering how not to gain weight over the Christmas holidays. Here are some tips and tricks for managing your weight during the festive period:
Engaging in sedentary activities, like sitting on the couch watching TV, often becomes a holiday tradition for many families. Inactivity can contribute to weight gain, particularly when accompanied with overeating.
Planning physical activities with your family or friends can be beneficial for weight control. Even simple activities like a family walk not only divert your mind from food but also provide an opportunity to bond with your loves ones. Consider incorporating some of the following activities:
- A leisurely walk through your neighborhood
- A dance and sing-along to your favorite Christmas music
- A game activity such as cricket or volley ball
Good hydration is a crucial for improving blood circulation, boosting energy levels, and maintaining overall good health. It also strengthens the immune system, enhances resistance to stress and infections, and supports optimal brain function, and digestion. Staying well-hydrated is a fundamental aspect of promoting overall well-being during the holiday season and beyond.
Festive food often contains high levels of salt and sugar, contributing to quicker dehydration. If you are indulging more than usual, a helpful tip is to keep hydrating snacks on hand. Juicy fruits like watermelon and oranges, along with veggies such as cucumber slices, can provide both a refreshing taste and help maintain hydration levels.
During the holiday season, unhealthy snacks like cookies, sweets and other treats are readily available for you to indulge in as you please.
Ensure your fridge and pantry are stocked with with healthy snack options such as fresh fruit, vegetables, hummus, yogurt, nuts, seeds, cheese, boiled eggs, biltong, and droewors. This way, you'll have nutritious alternatives readily available during the holiday season.
Catch some sleep
Sleep deprivation, often common during the holidays, can contribute to weight gain. Insufficient sleep may increase hunger, lead to higher calorie consumption, and result in reduced physical activity. Sleep restriction can elevate levels of hunger hormones, contributing to an overall increase in calorie intake. Prioritizing adequate sleep is essential for maintaining a healthy balance during the festive season.
Share your joy
Embracing the season of hope, love, peace, joy, light, giving, and sharing, consider sharing any unwanted or left-over food, sweets, dessert, and gifts with the less privileged. Rather than dwelling on what shouldn't have been stocked up or wasted, extend a helping hand to those in need. Here's to a guilt-free beginning to the new year! Cheers!