Filipinos love to eat. The way we celebrate birthdays, fiestas, and the smorgasbord of gastronomic feast served during Noche Buena and Media Noche are reflective of the kind of appetite we have for food. Luckily, we seem to be managing our weight better than, say, the Americans or Australians, who are reported to be struggling more with weight not only during the holidays but generally all throughout the year. Because of the plethora of food choices available for us in malls, the supermarkets, and now even via delivery, it is pretty challenging for anyone to stick to a healthy eating plan. Thankfully, we now also have access to multiple sports and fitness activities which equally make it easy for those of us in the habit of occasional bingeing to shed the excess.
But sometimes, especially during Christmas season when there’s always company parties, family dinners, friendly get-togethers to go to, we end up putting our fitness agenda on hold thinking ‘it’s just for two weeks anyway and we can always slave away in the gym once the exhilaration of the partying settles.’ I should know. I’m guilty as charged.
So, if like me, you tend to eat more and exercise a lot less during the holidays, how about we follow these holiday survival tips and curb the compulsion to overconsume?
- Do NOT avoid fat altogether. Eating moderate amounts of fat during the holidays will satiate the appetite and prevent overeating of carbs (about 35-65 grams per day will be sufficient for most people.)
- Do not skip meals or completely deprive yourself of your favorite food thinkinking this is ultimately what’s best. It is NOT. Hunger and low sugar levels can lead to overeating. Moderate consumption is the key. You can still enjoy your favorite dish but do so in reasonable amount.
- Dispose of ‘trigger’ foods or ‘comfort’ foods around the house. Store chocolate chips and sugar-laden treats in colored canisters (the clear ones are a big no-no, especially if they’re the first ones you see when you step into the kitchen!) and hide them at the very back of the cupboard.
- Avoid going to parties on an empty stomach. Before leaving the house, have a glass of protein shake or a protein bar so you won’t be in a major bingeing mode when you come face-to-face with the buffet.
- Drink loads of water everyday and especially during the day of a majoy party celebration when you’re sure there is going to be food served nonstop.
**For full stories, grab a copy of Total Fitness December 2010 issue in bookstores and newsstands near you.