Christmas is a time of joy, reflection and to show appreciation, for which family and friends gatherings are very frequent. In this celebration, food becomes very important at our table, because for many, cooking is a way of expressing love and affection to the closest people in our lives; therefore, this period of the year is used to show affection through food.
However, Christmas also represents a time that invites us to consume hypercaloric foods, abundant alcohol and we take a more permissive attitude with everything. Some people eat and drink excessively, do not continue to exercise, alter their sleep pattern and as a consequence have an increase in weight, elevations in blood pressure, fat levels and blood sugar, among other negative impacts on the health that affect quality of life.
So that this does not happen, it is necessary to take care of our diet all year round. You must learn to compensate for excesses and to enjoy traditional Christmas dishes in a conscious way, in moderation and focusing on the positive aspects to achieve healthy eating practices.
Here are some useful tips:
1. Plan your diet:
Plan your shopping and food preparation at home in a healthy way. Decide ahead of time what food dishes you will prepare for Christmas and New Year’s Eve dinner. Choose culinary preparations such as roasted or grilled meat, low-fat sauces, vegetables of various colors and select fresh fruits for dessert.
2. Arouse your creativity and innovate in the kitchen:
Do not stop consuming the typical dishes of these dates. Modify or substitute ingredients in Christmas recipes for healthier options, without harming your health. Always compensate by creatively incorporating vegetables and fruits at all meal times. Reduce the amount of sugar, salt, sodium-laden products, and fats during food preparation. Use more herbs and natural spices to add flavor and aroma to your favorite dishes such as basil, coriander, onion, garlic, thyme, among others.
3. Keep your meal times:
Eat meals every three hours, where at the end of the day you manage to meet 5 or 6 meal times. Do not skip any meal times to keep your metabolism active and at the same time not arrive so hungry for main meals.
4. Decide and negotiate with yourself:
At Christmas it can be difficult to avoid eating certain dishes such as: tamales, Christmas cake, pork leg and desserts. These delicious dishes have critical nutrients such as sodium, sugar and fat, which, when consumed in excess, can harm our health. So negotiate and leave that food you like so much for a special moment such as Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve dinner.
5. Eat slowly with the 5 senses:
Food is one of life’s pleasures, so enjoy every bite of the food typical of these dates. Take the fork, look at its shape carefully, look up and enjoy the color and smell of the food. Cut slowly and put a small bite in your mouth, paying attention to its taste, as if you have never tasted it. Eating too fast can cause us to eat more than the recommended amount; On the other hand, if we decide to chew more slowly, we will achieve a sensation of real fullness without excess food.
6. Stay well hydrated:
Water is necessary for the functioning of our body. During the Christmas holidays, it helps us fill ourselves up earlier and eliminate toxins from the body. Consume at least eight glasses of water a day.
7. Stay active:
Prefer outdoor activities, such as walks in parks, mountains and bike rides. Remember that one way to compensate for excesses is to practice some type of physical activity at least 5 times a week for 30 minutes.
8. Try to have adequate sleep hygiene:
Do not stop sleeping, this way it will not affect your metabolism and appetite system. Try to get six to eight hours of sleep a day.
9. Enjoy the holidays consciously and in moderation:
Focus on how you can have the best Christmas without blaming yourself, but making conscious choices about what to eat, without bingeing and overeating. There are no prohibited foods, but control the quantity and frequency. Avoid “I’m on a diet after Christmas” thoughts. You can enjoy Christmas dishes, everything is in making the decision for the sake of your health and enjoying the festivities of the time in moderation.