5 tips to avoid a belly like Santa’s this Christmas
With the holiday season upon us, buffets and festivities are everywhere. Many have resigned to gaining weight over the Christmas season but you can still enjoy the holidays without putting on some weight! (READ: Will you gain weight this holiday season?)
Here are 5 tips on how to avoid a belly like Santa's this Christmas:
1) Pick alternatives
Choose foods that have been associated with healthier body weights in the longer term and increased satiety in the shorter term, such as fruits and vegetables, and leaner foods that are higher in fiber and protein.
- salads (including fruit, green, potato and quinoa ones) over white bread
- oat slices or biscuits over shortbread biscuits
- roasted nuts over potato chips
- turkey breast over salami
- shrimps and other seafood over sausages
2) Eat intuitively
Try to listen to your hunger and fullness. This will help with the feeling of sickness that can come at the end of Christmas day due to overconsumption.
Choose smaller plates, as these are associated with reduced food intake compared to larger plates – even if you have a level of intuitive eating.
Put a smaller variety of foods on your (smaller) plate – and don’t go back for seconds. If you have a large variety of foods, you are more likely to eat more – something called sensory-specific satiety.
One study reported that systematically recording what you eat, drink and how much you move during holiday periods was associated with improved weight. Use goal-setting and self-monitoring sheets or apps to help regulate the amount of alcohol or potato chips you consume each day.
Go for walks or swims if the weather allows, and avoid spending the whole break binge-watching television.
5) Drink in moderation
Avoid soft drinks and excessive alcohol every day. When you do drink alcohol, choose a soda mixer with a piece of fresh lime to have with your spirits and drink water in between each alcoholic drink.
If you do gain weight...
At the end of the silly season, you may still have gained some weight. But keep it in perspective: it might have been due to quite pleasurable activities and it’s unlikely to be a problem in the long term, if you get back to your usual balanced exercise and eating routine.
It’s fine to indulge every now and then, even if it means going back for seconds of Christmas pudding on Christmas day. Just don’t indulge every other day of the holidays, too! – Rappler.com
This article was first published on The Conversation.
Photo from Shutterstock