Eat, Drink, Be Merry This Christmas Without Gaining Weight: Expert Advice
Dietitian Pooja Malhotra gives some tips on how to avoid gaining weight during the celebratory time of Christmas and New Year.
Portion control is the key to avoid eating extra calories at parties
- Plan your workout schedule so that you continue burning calories
- Avoid drinking your calories at parties
- Eat healthy before arriving at a party to avoid gorging on food later on
Out of the big fat wedding season and into the Christmas-New Year party mode. (Read: Out of the frying pan and into the fire!) And there goes our modus operandi healthy meals literally into the frying pan sometimes. Whilst planning on our health resolutions for the New Year, we might simply resign to the fact that healthy eating and partying can't coexist. It's also true that this submission makes our New Year goals more difficult to achieve as mindless partying can easily contribute a few extra kilos. Read on to find out how to eat, drink and be merry without gaining weight.
- Plan your days well: While you mark your events/parties in your calendar, also mark when you plan to visit the gym. It truly helps to motivate you to slip out of your cozy comforter or make time out of your busy schedule to go and burn a few calories.
- Maintain a diet-exercise journal: Maintaining a real/virtual log is truly an eye opener. Self-realisation of the excess calories consumed vis-a-vis the exercises/gym activity missed, serves as a reprimand. It's a great tool for self-discipline. With so many monitoring devices available, it shouldn't be difficult.
- Abandon that 'all or nothing' attitude: Some people either exercise extreme caution (exercise well and eat well) or drop their guard completely (chuck the exercises and eat like a glutton). Neither situation is useful. Moderation allows you to be a part of the celebration without contributing to fat storage/weight gain.
- Arrive at a party hungry, not ravenous; neither situation is useful: If you fill yourself up fully before you head out, you would either be sulking at the party or overeating. Don't skip the meal before the party; arriving ravenously hungry too is a recipe for disaster. Have some warm soup or some quick bites like a fruit or salad vegetables, so that you are all geared up with a radiant smile and energy to hit the dance floor. A deprived state of mind can't party, it only attacks food.
- Don't drink your calories: Alcohol, carbonated drinks, fruit juice all make a substantial contribution to your total calories consumed. Try quenching your thirst with plain water. Nothing hydrates your system better in a party!
- Avoid eating just about anything and everything that you could lay your hands on: Make your choices wisely. Eat stuff either because it is healthy or because you would really want to indulge in it. Anything which is unhealthy and not your absolute favorite should be skipped.
- Eat slowly, savor every bite: It definitely helps to recognise fullness signals and prevent overeating.
- Portion control is your biggest savior when you are limited by choice: Follow the 80:20 rule. Try to eat 80 percent of the portion size you think you have appetite for. Think twice before refilling; ask yourself if you really are hungry. Eat to satisfy 'hunger', not 'greed', greed is insatiable. It's easy to overlook fullness signals at a party, and it's quite late by the time you realise you've overdone, and all you've got is heartburn and indigestion plus a few extra pounds of weight.
When you fill your plate, half of it should comprise of greens and veggies, one-fourth should come from lean proteins, another one-fourth from complex carbohydrates.
If you have overdone the starters, skip the main course completely.
Desserts and cakes are an inevitable part of festivities. Though best avoided, avoidance can truly mar your festive spirit if you've got a sweet tooth. So serve yourself small portions, and avoid second helpings completely.
So, if you are a little mindful, all of this is doable. You can enjoy your favorite food items with your favorite company without the burden of guilt, indigestion and without gaining weight.