This year Christmas will be slightly different from previous years. However, it is always a festive season and we usually eat a little more than usual. The first thing I want to highlight is: don't feel guilty if you eat a little more than usual or try different sweets and desserts.
It is not because one day we ate high fat and high sugar foods or healthier foods that we will put on weight or lose weight. Our body weight depends on thousands and thousands of choices we make, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. There is no perfection, but progress.
At least 80% of your food choices must be healthy. If you apply this rule, you can include all foods in your diet without feeling guilty and maintain a healthy weight.
I want to give you my best tips for a happy and healthy Christmas:
1. Help yourself to vegetables
Vegetables and legumes are the least caloric part of the meal and have high nutritional benefits. In addition to being rich in antioxidants and helping our bodies fight free radicals, they are also a good source of fiber, an important component for good intestinal health. In addition, fiber makes the digestive process slower, making you feel full for a longer time.
2. Eat slowly and enjoy all the flavors
The festive season is time to celebrate the union between family and friends. Focus on conversations around the table, chew slowly, and enjoy all the flavors. When eating slowly, you will be more aware of the signs of satiety in your body and stop eating before you feel uncomfortably full.
3. Don't skip any meals
Eat at least three meals a day. This way, your blood sugar levels will remain constant. This means that you will also have better control over your appetite and more energy all day long.
4. Drink more water and less alcohol
If you have a tendency to consume more alcohol during the festive season, try placing a glass of water next to your wine glass. And drink water alternately and during the meal. In addition to water helping the digestive process, it will help maintain good levels of hydration. Since alcohol has a diuretic effect, it means it makes your body lose more water.
In addition, alcohol contains empty calories, meaning that from a nutritional point of view, alcohol does not contribute essential nutrients to the proper functioning of the body, but instead, extra calories.
Drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water a day (tea, milk, sugar-free drinks also count).
5. Stay active daily
Physical activity is part of a healthy lifestyle. In addition to helping to release hormones, endorphins, which make you feel good, will make you feel more energetic and fit.
It is recommended to do at least 150 minutes of intense physical activity per week, for example, if you go for a walk at a high pace for half an hour five times a week or one hour walk three times a week you have already reached the recommendations.
I hope these tips are useful to you.
I wish you a very healthy and happy Christmas.
From your dietitian,
UK Registered Dietitian
Founder of Your Diet Advice
Hi, I'm Joana, a Portuguese registered dietitian in the UK. I am passionate about helping others achieving their health goals.