Health

Published: Monday December 9, 2013 MYT 5:10:00 PM
Updated: Monday December 9, 2013 MYT 5:42:22 PM

Seven ways to battle the holiday bulge

You don’t have to say no to the seasonal goodies but do restrain the urge to binge. – AFP

You don’t have to say no to the seasonal goodies but do restrain the urge to binge. – AFP

How to enjoy the season while maintaining your waistline.

’TIS the season for holiday eating. And that means that most of us will pack on about one to two pounds (0.5-1kg) this time of year. While that might not sound like much, annual weight gain adds up year after year.

But rather than put down the eggnog and fruit cake altogether, Dr Amy Moore, assistant professor of nutrition and dietetics at Saint Louis University in the United States, offers a few sensible approaches to enjoying the season while keeping your waistline intact.

Be picky about your splurges

Holidays are a time to sample special seasonal treats that people have spent a lot of time preparing, Moore says. “If Aunt Helen’s delectable Christmas Buche de Noel chocolate dessert beckons, enjoy a slice but pass on the brownies or soda.”

Be mindful

Pay attention to what you’re eating. Slow down and savour every bite, taking the time to appreciate what you’re putting into your mouth.

Plan ahead

If you know you are going to a party in the evening, eat a healthy breakfast and lunch. “Bring something healthy to potlucks so at least you can count on one healthy option being offered,” Moore says. “Fruit – pomegranates, clementine oranges and cranberries – are terrific holiday dishes because they are pretty, festive and, best of all, easy.”

Conversation is calorie-free

Focus on family and friendship, not the food.

Water is calorie-free, too

“Alternate a glass of water with every alcoholic beverage to pace yourself as you celebrate and prevent a next-day hangover,” Moore advises.

Exercise

“While it’s not necessary to count every calorie, it is good to have a rough idea of how your calorie intake corresponds to your exercise, and know that it can take more exercise than you might think to balance out your food intake,” adds Ethel Frese, associate professor of physical therapy and athletic training at Saint Louis University.

Fight the urge to hibernate

Get out for fresh air and exercise, Frese adds. Run errands, stop by to see friends and neighbours, or check out an exhibit at a museum. The point is to keep moving. – AFP Relaxnews

Tags / Keywords: Lifestyle, Health, holiday bulge, battle, weight, waistline

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