All of us would have our Christmas tree ready, gifts wrapped and the elaborate meal planned for the festive day, but did we even take a second to think about being healthy and staying safe on that day? The figures are close to nil!
A normal person consumes around 6,000 calories on Christmas day which is almost equivalent to the number of calories a person consumes over a period of 3 days.
Stick to the Basics
World renowned dietetic associations state that on an average, any individual gains 2kg during Christmas. The basics remain the same, be it any normal day or festive day. The primary way to control things from going out of control is to stick to the meal times.
Start your day with a nutritious breakfast constituting of porridge oats or a small bowl of wheat-bran flakes to fulfill fiber requirements and keep you away from munching on some snack time and again.
You might feel you are eating a thumb-size portion of yule log or a single mince pie. But, calories in snacks quickly pile up, for example a single mince pie packs about 250 calories and you might have fulfilled quarter of recommended calorie intake for a woman or a fifth of the calorie intake for a man with this snack.
If you are planning for some crisps and cheese biscuits, replace them with popcorns and boiled veggies with butter to minimize calorie consumption. Munch on dates, dried grapes or chestnut seeds for a bite of healthy snacks.
Desserts occupy a prominent place in the Christmas table and not every dessert needs to be calorie-rich. While Christmas pudding might be high in calories, it is also an excellent source of fiber, potassium, calcium and magnesium. To make it tastier, don’t keep on adding brandy butter or cream and spoil all the good nutrition value in it. Watch out for portion sizes as this is the primary element to keep your calorie values under control. Also, have a bowl of mixed fruits ready so that people can choose what they would like to eat for dessert.
Eating, watching TV and remaining in bed might be the best option to pursue as your holiday routine. You need to be physically active to burn those extra calories that you consume during all these days.
You need not go for the kickboxing class or hit the gym to stay active, taking a small brisk walk by the park after your meal to stay active. One study also shows that taking a 15-minute walk half an hour after eating controls high blood sugar in the elderly people and also decreases their risk of developing type-2 diabetes. But what most of us do is, either we sit around and chat or watch a movie together in the living room which can be the worst thing to do after having a big meal.
Follow the 80:20 approach where 80% of the time you are following your normal routine and 20% of the time you indulge a little.
Some Tactical Tips for A Healthy Christmas
AVOID FRAUD. EAT SMART.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.