Tips to make Smart Choices even as you Celebrate Christmas

Here are some tips to help you go through this festive season without feeling fat and miserable as you enter the New Year. Take it as a challenge to try to eat happily but smartly and keep the tummy trim and feel fit as you enter 2020.

When I started counselling 21 years ago, I believe people were not as conscious about their diets and health as they are today. Health is wealth so donít throw it away over just 10 days of party eating. In 10 days you can gain anything between 3-5 kgs and it may take you 2-3 months to lose it thereafter. Prevention is better than pitiful tears and toil later. So here are some special tips to help you to be healthy, wealthy and beautiful as you step into the New Year.

By all means enjoy the food but try not to make it the top priority of the season. Focus on dressing up, looking good and sharing love by giving gifts, instead of only eating.

  1. Try and indulge in cakes and chocolates in the daytime, before 4pm and not after 6pm. All the fat in these take 6-8 hours to be digested. So, if you eat a chocolate at 6 pm the fat in it gets digested and enters the blood at 12 midnight. At this point we are asleep and the body has no way of spending these calories from the chocolate so it stores it as fat in the body. On the other hand if you eat the chocolate at 11am or after lunch there is activity following the intake and the extra calories will have a chance of getting burnt off.

  2. Try to restrict indulgences to only once a day. If you have had a heavy lunch donít say let me eat a heavy dinner too and then tomorrow I will starve or fast it off. Have a normal dinner and normal diet the following day too. If you skip dinner or starve the next day you will soon overeat again. Donít start eating chocolate or cake in the morning and continue to pop them into your mouth throughout the day saying that tomorrow you will starve. Eat these once or twice in a day and then refuse further offers and control further temptation. Somebody once said, ďOnce I start eating the wrong things, I end up eating a whole bar of chocolate or a whole packet of cookies. Itís like saying, ďSince I have got wet, let me go all the way and get drenchedĒ. Be careful you donít end up eating a whole cake! This is the worst mistake one can make with food. Stop yourselves as quickly as you can and thatís being smart.

  3. Many who are going out for dinner are in the habit of starving the whole day and over indulging at night. Please understand that because you have starved the whole day all those extra calories are not going to be cancelled out. They simply cannot vanish. While you sleep, the body will convert every extra calorie to fat and store it before the morning. Have a normal balanced diet the whole day and let your body and mind be in control when you face that exotic dinner. Donít just binge (over eat) on everything, but carefully choose 1 or 2 items which you really like and eat a couple of servings of that and be content.

None of this food is running away. It will be in every restaurant and home for years to come, tomorrow, next week, next month and next Christmas too. Try and have a glass of milk and a fruit or a bowl of salad and a cup of curd or even eat your dinner before you get out, so that you can be in control when you are eating out. Fill up with some salad as starters instead of fried snacks. Keep non-veg to a minimum at night and try to have a hearty Christmas lunch rather than the dinner.

Another problem, which we face is, late nights and not being able to get up in the morning to go for a walk. Hereís good news, you can walk at any time of the day, it still has its effect. Go for your walk late in the morning, afternoon, evening, even after dinner but try not to miss your walk. Take advantage of the weather and do your walk anytime, anywhere. Also you may be a regular 45 min or one-hour walker, but if pressed for time do 25 to 30 mins, but donít miss your walk.

Finally, even though itís cold weather, donít forget your water. 2 1/2 -3 liters is a must. The minimum should not be less than 2 liters. The greatest tonics to good health are Walk and Water and The miracle formula and secret for fitness are to do all these 3 together!!

  1. Walk Ė 25-30 min daily
  2. Water- 2 1/2-3 liter daily
  3. Diet- Avoid or Restrict Fatty food intake, 3 Balanced and Healthy Meals with Plenty of Fiber.
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