To be perfectly honest, no one is looking to be healthy over the Christmas holiday and as a matter of fact, people rather look forward to eating as much as they possibly can. This is certainly true in my case. Christmas is my favourite holiday and when it comes to food, I can’t help but say yes to a little (or a lot of) indulgence.
As worth it as every bite may be, the yearly cycle of ‘binge in December, feel guilty in January’ can be avoided. Staying fit over Christmas is hard but it’s harder to face the reality of your health in January. No, I’m not talking about working out everyday and cutting out carbs on Christmas day. These tips will help you maintain a balanced lifestyle over the holiday period. So if you would like to find out how to be jolly and healthy over Christmas, keep reading!
- Monitor your carbohydrates
Yes, I know that Christmas cookies are delicious but that doesn’t mean you have to eat the whole tray! Carbohydrates are good for you because they are the main human fuel. However, excess carbohydrate intake that is not used in the body for energy is stored as fat and leads to weight gain. It is so easy to overeat when it comes to carbs so I always say never cut out but cut down! Limit your intake of cereal grains (wheat, rice, corn and oats) that are used to make cereals, pastas and rice dishes. In turn, increase your intake of vegetables and root vegetables especially such as sweet potatoes.
- 2 drinks maximum
Alcohol. A drink for celebrations, particularly in the holidays. It, however, contains a lot of sugar and it is important to know your limit as it is a key dietary ingredient that leads to weight gain. Research shows that men and women who drink in moderation are less likely than non-drinkers to be obese. In the holidays, having a two drink maximum limit could help you avoid weight gain. If you don’t know what counts as one drink think of it in terms of a 1.5oz shot of 80 proof distilled spirits, 5oz of wine or 12oz of beer. When it comes to type, vodka or gin sodas are considered “skinny cocktails” because they are carb free. Beer is, however, the worst as it contains the highest amount of carbs and A LOT of calories.
- Exercise 2-3 times a week in the mornings
I know, it may be difficult to find time to exercise during the holidays but you need to keep your body moving in order to burn calories and avoid weight gain. I would recommend making time to work out a few times a week and this can even be in the form of 20-minute intense HIIT circuits. Every little helps and avoid not exercising at all as your New Year bounce back would be more difficult.
- Limit to a taste
It may be hard to resist your Granny’s famous Christmas cake and of course it wouldn’t be fair if I told you not to eat it. When it comes to naughty cravings at Christmas, I have realised that simply having a taste keeps me satisfied. Go for 2 spoonfuls of your favourite dessert instead of a whole slice and at the Ghanaian family buffet, take a little bit of your favourite foods from the menu. Remember, you don’t have to eat it all!
- No limits on Christmas day
It would be mean of me to tell you to limit your food intake on Christmas Day so all I can tell you is EAT, EAT, EAT!
I hope you found these tips useful!
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