It’s that time of the year – a get-together every weekend, buffets and potluck dinners galore! Diet plans go out the window, and exercise is rescheduled to “after the next year” – how can we possibly stay healthy during this time?
Here are some tips to help you eat (and drink) well during the festive season.
If you have a buffet spread awaiting you at dinner, do you often skip lunch in order to “save yourself” for dinner? This is a common practice among many people, as they think it could help to control their caloric intake and reduce weight gain.
However, this could actually have the opposite effect! The total amount of calories consumed in a day is more important than the timing of which the calories are consumed. This means that the amount of food in each meal is important. Even if you do skip a meal, you should not increase the amount you eat at the next meal (i.e. binge eating).
Binge eating can cause indigestion and heartburn. Consuming large amounts of food also causes a surge in total sugars and calories consumed, which increases insulin secretions that leads to tiredness and sleepiness – something like a food coma! This excess insulin secretion causes an increase in fat production and can in turn lead to weight gain.
For those who are trying to watch their weight during the holidays, but still want to enjoy some good food, the key to maintaining good health in life is moderation! When at a buffet, try not to overeat. Though the spread may look inviting, take a small portion of each dish. Eat slowly and listen to your body – when you feel 3/4 full, it is time to stop.
Other than eating in moderation, alcohol should be taken in moderation as well. Though the season of partying will bring with it lots of drinking, it is important to know how much is too much. Alcohol can allow for better social interaction by lifting one’s spirits and reducing inhibitions. However, too much alcohol consumption can lead to adverse effects such as:
- impairing one’s judgement and hand-eye coordination
- gastric discomfort and bleeding
- inflammation of the liver and pancreas
- a disruption of sugar control in patients with diabetes
According to the Health Promotion Board, 2 standard drinks for men and one for women (i.e. one standard drink is equivalent to one can (330ml) of beer, half a glass (175ml) of wine or one nip (35ml) of spirit is the recommended limit for a night of drinking.
In addition, boost your immunity by exercising and staying hydrated during the festive season. Remember to eat healthy, vitamin-rich food such as fruits and vegetables, and get enough rest. People who sleep at least 7 hours a night get sick less often. Most importantly, do everything in moderation – do not overindulge in anything and your festive season will be an enjoyable one!
Visit your nearest Healthway Medical clinic today, for more information!