The festive season is here again! Another period to be merry, rest and have time for family gatherings, parties and lots of food. This is a season of plenty, and so it is easy to allow yourself to indulge, become gluttonous and promise to burn it all when the holidays are over.
Also, this holiday period doesn’t exactly promise healthy foods. Still, this hack allows you to enjoy your holidays while not straying far from your fitness goals and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
HERE ARE A FEW TIPS TO STAY HEALTHY DURING THIS PERIOD
- Eat When Hungry
It is a very tempting and widespread practice to skip meals or arrive at events hungry to account for the expected high calories at an event. While this may look right, skipping meals or going hungry triggers overeating and increases the chances of eating anything and everything in sight. Also, hunger can cause stress on the body, which leads to the release of cortisol, which increases appetite. So always eat your breakfast, lunch or the usual meals or have a light snack or fruit when you are hungry, even when you are going for an event later, to prevent rebound overeating and seeking sustenance on the barrage of high-calorie finger foods available.
- Fruits And Vegetables
It is important to make room for vegetables and fruits in meals during this period as they serve as healthy snacks and help to reduce the appetite. For instance, Apples and oranges are a great source of fibre and help to keep feeling full and reduce the low blood sugar spikes that spur hunger. An Apple a day keeps the calories away. This does not necessarily mean it just has to be fruit alone. This can be substituted with fruit juice, salads and smoothies.
- Eat Slower And Healthier
This means you don’t have to forgo your favourite treats but must draw the line beforehand about the quantity to consume. Portion control is important; when you set the limit beforehand, you tend to savour it and prevent overindulgence. According to numerous research, eating slowly also gives the stomach ample time to send signals to the brain to bring about satiety, which will stop you from overeating.
- Avoid/Limit Alcohol
Alcohol consumption, especially on an empty stomach, increases appetite and reduces inhibition, leading to overeating. Take alcohol with food or treat it as a dessert, which will help curb the hunger afterwards. It is also essential to know that consuming too much alcohol can lead to hangovers, drunkenness, bloating, and recklessness, especially when driving, which can ruin the fun and intention of the season. That being said, Moderation or total abstinence is the keyword. Moderate or avoid alcohol completely during this period.
Physical activity often takes the backseat during the holidays and if you find yourself in that category, find new ways to amp up physical activity. They include parking further from event centres, taking a brisk walk, and dancing, which is a very effective way of burning calories and organizing events like hiking, swimming, or early morning jogs. Also, helping to set up decorations, moving equipment, and heavy loads count as physical activity. They help tremendously to burn calories in the body while keeping the mind focused and alert.
The importance of sleep cannot be overemphasised. While it is particularly difficult due to the increase in social gatherings and family members around, it is important to stick to at least seven hours of sleep daily. An irregular sleep cycle increases stress levels and affects the balance between ghrelin and leptin, which are the hunger and satiety hormones. This would lead to changes in appetite and cravings for high-fat, high-sugar foods. So please, when the family members come, don’t be scared to leave them watching TV and catch a few hours of sleep.
Reduce The Carbs:
Rice is the food of the season! And although people are trying to change this traditional food, they are yet to be successful. Other meals enjoyed during this period include; pounded yam, rice, varieties of rice and more rice. This eventually means more carbohydrate consumption, more stored glucose in the body and more calories. Excessive carbohydrates increase the risk of constipation. Always eat your carbohydrates with lots of veggies and salads. Also, take more fruits and fruit juice, smoothies and never forget to get your 100% natural smoothies here.
- Don’t smoke!:
As much as this might sound cliché, smoking Is very dangerous and harmful to the body. It lowers immunity, increases toxins and oxidative stress levels in cells and body tissues and damages the lungs. Increased tobacco level in the body has little or no benefits to you or your overall health. So please make efforts to live healthy and happy for yourself and your loved ones.
Say No To Drugs!:
Youths might want to get high and feel the moment. They might come together and decide to share needles when injecting themselves, take pills that will make them feel the euphoria of the moment or mix these in drinks and take or even offer them to unsuspecting visitors and relatives. Watch what you take, be careful with what you accept or drink and most importantly, don’t do drugs! You will only end up harming yourself and your loved ones, getting arrested or even injuring yourself. So please avoid anything that will make this period a moment of sadness for you and the people who love you.