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8 simple rules for holiday eating

Fuelling Your Body

Sunday, November 17, 2019

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FOR many, the holiday season brings thoughts of weight gain and potential health issues.

It is well-documented that there is a spike in the death rate in the months of December and January, much of this effect is attributed to the changes in eating patterns.

There is also a study which reveals that the average holiday weight gain is only one pound, you may say, hold on, that isn't so bad, and you would be right, were it not for two factors:

1. A one-pound weight gain per year for 30 years after the age of 20, in addition to the general weight increase, will result in a 50-year-old who is easily 30 to 60 pounds overweight — well within the increased health risk range.

2. The study revealed that individuals with weight management issues actually had an average increase of four pounds! This means that even with the unlikely event of no increase throughout the year, the holiday increase for these individuals will easily result in 50 year olds who can be as much as 120 pounds overweight.

Even if you do not have weight issues, unmindful holiday eating can be risky. If you have had weight control issues, holiday eating can be devastating to your wellness. How then can you enjoy your holidays, as they are meant to be, with friends and family experiences?

Simple rules

Whether you are eating out or at function, follow these simple rules:

1. Never starve yourself before or after to compensate.

Starving yourself days before or after binging is known to be an unhealthy management technique.

2. Be liberal with plating your vegetables first.

Vegetables are a powerful source of nutrients and fibre. Become a connoisseur of vegetables, but be wary of heavy dressings. This is where the bad oils, sugars and extra calories are hiding.

3. Avoid white, starchy and sugary foods, or only sample them.

Be conservative with the sugars and simple carb selections, just sample one or two if you must.

4. Drink water throughout the day and with meals.

Try to avoid drinking your calories. Empty, quick, usually sugary calories can pointlessly jeopardise your health. Choose one holiday drink if you must, but water is best otherwise.

5. Do not go to events hungry.

Hunger will trigger binging. Eat a very light meal or two before.

6. Do not hang around where the food is.

Once you have served your well thought out meal, don't hang around where the food is, and avoid having seconds.

7. Enjoy the company, make it more important than the food.

Remember what these events are truly for, not just a feeding trough, they are opportunities for co-workers, friends and family to get together.

8. If you are on a weight control programme, never ever “take a break” before or during the holidays, you must consider:

• The snowball effect of taking a break and the damage that it can cause;

• Triggers to your addictions;

• Lack of support throughout holiday anxieties.

In this season, find or maintain your support system. You may or may not lose any weight during the season, but that is only a part of the equation. Not gaining excessively and maintaining your wellness are more important than losing and much more important than mindless holiday eating.

Don't let the season cost you your future, you deserve a healthy life. Be mindful and enjoy.

Fitz-George Rattray is the director of Intekai Academy, which is focused on helping people live a healthy lifestyle through nutrition and weight management. If you are interested in losing weight or living a healthier lifestyle, give them a call at 876-863- 5923, or visit their website at intekaiacademy.org.


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