Staying fit and healthy is possible this festive season
Wednesday, 18 December 2013, 09:56
Eat healthy this festive season.
LIFESTYLE NEWS - According to the International Institute of Health, holiday eating can result in gaining an extra kilogram or two each year.
Deon Lewis, MD of Cipla Nutrition, says there are a variety of factors that cause weight gain during the holiday season, including overindulging on alcohol and sugars, which lowers ones metabolic rate, and not exercising regularly enough.
“The festive season sees many people indulging in foods loaded with sugars and carbohydrates, which results in the body storing fat and gaining weight.”
He says that in order to avoid gaining weight and jeopardising your health during the ‘silly season’ small but significant changes can be made to a diet and lifestyle.
Cipla Nutrition ambassador and editor of the JogBlog, Bridget Willers, says maintaining your fitness regime does not have to take away from your holiday fun. “Staying fit and healthy can be a challenge during this festive season, but the benefits far outweigh the stress of having to lose weight in the new year.”
Lewis suggests these easy tips which will assist in maintaining health and fitness levels over the 2013/2014 festive season.
1. Start you day with a healthy breakfast: Late nights out during the holidays usually result in most people missing the most important meal of the day. Waking up to a healthy breakfast will assist in avoiding poorer food choices during the course of the day.
2. Stay active: Combining exercise with fun activities and company will ensure that exercise isn’t a bore during the festive season. Try to incorporate hikes or sports activities into time spent with family and friends and take a brisk walk a few times a week.
3. Exercise outdoors: Take full advantage of the beautiful weather by exercising outdoors. Trade in the treadmill for a jog on the beach or opt for a game of soccer with friends. Research conducted by the International Institute of Health shows that when running on a treadmill, less energy is spent than if you were running the same distance outside.
4. Have an eating strategy: There will be plenty of food to indulge in during the holidays, so it’s important to carefully choose what you put on your plate. Try opting for half a plate of salad, a quarter of carbohydrates and a quarter of meat or protein. By knowing how you will eat before you get to the table will assist in avoiding the urge to overindulge.
5. Regular smaller meals are essential: Regular small meals help maintain a higher metabolic rate, therefore increasing the amount of fat burnt. Lean mass is also better maintained and your blood sugar levels stabilised by eating regularly, which all contribute to warding off overconsumption of foods through appetite control.
6. Use supporting supplementation – As it is easy to eat too much of the ‘wrong’ types of food during the festive season, consider supplements, healthy smoothies or meal replacements to support your body’s needs and control your calorie intake.
7. Keep your body hydrated: Excessive heat during the summer can leave your body dehydrated. A lack of water is harmful to your body and can also result in craving food when the body is not actually hungry. It is therefore important to stay hydrated by drinking at least eight to nine glasses of water a day.
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