Be Food Smart this Christmas Season


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 2004.

When I started counseling 5 years ago, I believe people were not as conscious about their diets and health as they are today. Health is wealth so don’t throw it away over just 10 days of party eating. In 10 days you can gain anything between 3-5 kgs and it will take you 1-2 months to lose it thereafter. Prevention is better than pitifull 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 don’t 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. Don’t 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, “ once I start eating the wrong things, I feel that anyway I have got wet, let me go all the way and take a bath and I end up eating a whole bar of chocolate or a whole packet of cookies.” Be careful you don’t end up eating a whole cake! This is the worst mistake one can make with food. Stop yourselves as quickly as you can and that’s 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. The body, while you sleep 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. Don’t 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 and be in control when you are eating out. Fill up with a veg soup and 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. Here’s good news, you can walk at any time of the day, it still has its effect. Late 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, if pressed for time do 20 or 30 mins, but don’t miss your walk.

Finally, it’s cold but don’t forget your water 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 !!

Walk – 20-30 min daily
Water- 2-3 liter daily

Diet- Balanced and healthy eating with plenty of fiber and be smart with the fatty food intake.

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