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 Diet & Nutrition

August 2012

Don’t Let Holiday Fun Ruin Your Diet Plan!

Shwetha Mabel
The holiday season comes with great cheer. To a vast many people, it also means alcohol and calorie-laden parties, sweet treats and busy travel schedules—all of which can be good excuses for overeating and not exercising.
Honestly, a once-in-awhile bout of overeating at your friend’s wedding or on your honeymoon is no sabotage of your diet plans, though carrying on with the indulgence throughout the holiday season will sure to have you fighting some unwanted pounds when New Year is around.

You may be tempted to overeat but all of us know that it is much easier to skip that extra dessert than battle the weight gained from the indulgence. A fun-filled holiday without sacrificing on taste or saving on calories is not that elusive though. A few simple changes are all it takes to have it your way.
  • Develop a game plan early on. Adopt a regular workout routine and learn about healthy food choices.
  • Host a healthy party. If you’re in charge of hosting a party, keep it healthy. Serve salads with dressings on the side. Offer fruit as dessert and fruit juices as welcome drinks. Substitute sweet potato for white potato, use canola oil to bake. Bake instead of fry and serve chicken instead of red meat.
  • Fit it all in one plate. Practise portion control. Divide a 12-inch dinner plate into three sections of three-inch-sized circles with each circle representing one food group: proteins, vegetables and starches. Drink plenty of water throughout the day and throughout the meal to keep you full.
  • Avoid going back for seconds. If you’re tempted to return for more, give yourself 20 minutes (about how long it takes to feel full) first.
  • Enjoy the company of family and friends. Socialise during your meal and festivities. You can’t eat and talk at the same time, so the more conversations you enjoy, the less you’ll eat!
  • Be mindful of alcohol intake. Hard liquor and cocktail drinks tend to have many more calories than a glass of beer or wine. Having one cocktail or multiple drinks can easily add up to a meal. Remember alcohol contains seven calories per gram, which makes it nearly twice as fattening as carbohydrates or protein.
  • Stay away from the dessert tray. As a general rule, keep a five-foot distance from the dessert tray. Recruit a friend as coach to help you stick to this rule.
  • Get moving. Fit in a 30-minute walk before or after you go for a party. Planning physical activity during any part of your day can burn substantial calories
Weight Watch For Honeymooners!
For newly-weds, honeymoons are both exciting and hectic. You might think that travelling and eating will sabotage your diet plans, but it does not have to be that way.
  • For the sake of your waistline, even a quick workout (as brief as 10 minutes) will burn calories and bolster your spirits. Go for a late night romantic walk with your husband.
  • Drink a glass of water with every alcoholic beverage.
  • Have a fruit before going out for dinner.
  • Keep healthy snacks handy – health bars and drinks, dried fruits and easy-to-eat fruits like apples and bananas.