🎶 Sorrel, Ham, Sponge Cake, Homemade Hops, Ginger Ale, Ponche-a-crème! 🎶 Christmas time is here again. Esta Fiesta! 🎶
It’s easy to get caught up in the festivities of the season and “paranging” from house to house only to be left bewildered in January as to why your jeans can no longer button up. But you don’t have to commit to watching everyone partake in your favourite foods this Christmas and punish yourself, just to make sure you don’t pack on too many excessive pounds.
Here are 12 super simple tips to help you have your black cake and eat it too (in moderation, of course!) this Christmas.
AVOID SUGARY DRINKS
It’s so easy to over-consume empty calories – through drinks! Skip the fruit juices from concentrate and choose something with no added sugar or all natural, if you really need that sweet fix. Simple sugars such as table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup do not have any nutritional value. They provide calories but no nutrients.
AND MIND YOUR ALCOHOL INTAKE TOO!
What starts off as one quick drink at Christmas can quickly turn into four lager beers, three rum punches, two glasses of Ponche-a-crème and a generous slice of
black cake (soaked again in white rum for good measure). You’d be surprised as to how many calories alcoholic beverages contain. Make sure you limit yourself.
DRINK WATER… AND LOTS OF IT (ESPECIALLY BEFORE MEALS)
Apart from boosting your metabolism, having water – especially before a meal – can reduce the total amount of food – calories! – consumed. You’d feel satiated much more quickly.
CHOOSE COFFEE OR TEA
Having a cup of tea or coffee between meals can help you feel fuller and more satisfied, delaying the need or stopping the urge for a snack in-between. Also,
caffeine can boost metabolism and antioxidants work synergistically to enhance fat burning.
FOCUS ON EATING WHOLE, UNPROCESSED FOODS
Although convenient, highly processed foods are packed with calories and are low in nutrients. But, whole, unprocessed plant and animal foods
are packed with vitamins and minerals that are great for your health and nutrients that help you feel fuller for longer – like protein and soluble fibre!
KEEP HEALTHY SNACKS HANDY
Even though snacking is thought of as something “bad,” snacks can be an important part of your diet. A healthy snack can provide energy in the middle of the day, when you exercise or help to decrease your hunger and keep you from overeating at meal time. But remember to choose fruits, veggies and nuts as snacks over chips, cookies and ice-cream and keep in mind portion sizes.
PRACTICE MINDFUL EATING…
Put aside quiet time to eat – and in a dedicated space. When you choose to eat in front of the television or while scrolling social media, for example, you consume greater portions and hence much more calories than you would have if you had been focused on simply eating.
…WHILE CHEWING SLOWLY
Taking you time and eating slowly is a piece of weight management advice that is often overlooked. However, eating slowly gives your brain more time to process your food intake and recognize when you are full. Faster chewing and swallowing allows for easy overeating.
MAKE AT LEAST HALF OF YOUR PLATE VEGETABLES
Try scaling down the portions of your other foods and increasing the amount of non-starchy vegetables on your plate. Vegetables have lots of filling water and fiber, but not a lot of calories. By replacing half the starch or protein of your meal with non-starchy vegetables, you can eat the same volume of food and still slash overall calories.
PLAN YOUR MEALS IN ADVANCE
Meal planning can help you eat a diverse group of food that includes enough fats, carbs, fiber and protein. But, meal planning also causes you to spend more time cooking and paying close attention to the calories you consume each day as well as create healthier meals, avoid processed ingredients and use less unwanted fats too. But an often overlooked win is that people who plan meals tend to avoid last minute impulses to eat out because they already have the meal they want waiting for them.
ENGAGE IN REGULAR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY OR EXERCISE
When losing weight, more physical activity
increases the number of calories your body uses for energy or “burns off.” The burning of calories through physical
activity, combined with reducing the number of calories you eat, creates a “calorie deficit” that results in weight loss. But, physical activity
reduces risks of
cardiovascular disease and diabetes
beyond that produced by weight reduction alone!
GET A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP, EVERY NIGHT!
Many studies have found that people who are sleep-deprived report having an increased appetite. When you do not get adequate sleep
, the body makes more
“Hunger” hormones and less “fullness” hormones, leaving you hungry and increasing your appetite. Additionally, poor sleep can increase poor decision
What are some other simple tips that you engage in to help you lose those extra pounds or maintain your ideal weight?