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The festive season is well underway! It started in September and now we are fast approaching Christmas. A very special time of year that brims over with joy and merriment, feasts replete with Christmas cakes, plum puddings, roasts and biryanis and your favourite tipples – set to the strains of Christmas carols and Jingle bells. During Christmas, people not only tend to go off their usual diets, but they also gain more than a few extra pounds. Based on studies, the majority of people tend to gain weight during the festive season with over-eating being  the main cause for the weight gain, as well as the lack of physical activity and exercise.

A lot of people tend to put aside their fitness routines during the holidays since they believe that they do not have enough time to get any exercise. But that is really not true. You can enjoy the holidays and stay fit and healthy right through the holiday season, especially during Christmas and up to New Year’s Eve. Here are some useful tips that are just what the doctor ordered:

  1. If you want to stay fit and healthy through the festive season, small changes can go a long way.
  • Don’t go back for seconds, no matter how tasty the food is
  • Eat slowly and enjoy every mouthful
  • If you can choose what you eat, don’t deny yourself anything. However, make sure that the portions of healthy food are larger than the unhealthy ones
  1. Drink lots of water when you are partying or dining out. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for a non-alcoholic beverage or a sparkling water with some lemon, while your friends maybe knocking back multiple drinks. Drinking lots of water can satisfy your appetite as well as keep you hydrated at all times. It will also prevent possible hangovers if you overdo the alcohol.

3. Get some exercise. Aim for at least half an hour per day (and you will be very happy when you achieve that) at least three to four times a week – walking, yoga, weights, stretches, anything! Even a few minutes will kick-start your metabolism. And, on days you really don’t have any time, schedule a five minute meditation that will allow you to focus on your body and slow down your breathing.

  1. Eat before going out to visit friends, on trips or family dinners. That way, you won’t be tempted to eat a lot (because you are very hungry) or overindulge yourself since you have already eaten.

5. Select Christmas treats carefully. Choose treats that can only be enjoyed during the holiday season – avoid things that are available all year round.

  1. Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast! Skipping meals, the next day, is not a good idea because you will be tempted to over-eat later. It can be tempting to skip meals, believing that it will make up for the treats you ate the previous day, but don’t do it.The results will be counter-productive.

7. Drink in moderation. It would be wise to regulate your drinking as alcohol, coke or other sweet juices will only add more calories to the ones you have already eaten!

  1. Have fun! Trying to stop yourself totally from eating some high on calories food will only make you eat more. Enjoy the treats that you really love, but in small portions.

All in all, the festive season is to be enjoyed. And you can do that by eating and drinking wisely and well! Remember, Christmas and New Year’s Eve is a time for giving thanks, counting your blessings, having fun with family and friends and looking forward to a healthy, happy New Year!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

BY By Thiyagarajan Velayutham, Founder, IHHC| December 15th, 2017

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