How to keep trim this season

UPTOWN/DOWNTOWN - Joanne Zapanta-Andrada - The Philippine Star
How to keep trim this season
‘The best part is that walking around while shopping counts as exercise!’
Illustration by Jaymee L. Amores

‘T is the season to be jolly! While Jose Mari Chan sings carols in the background, friends and family gather around the Christmas table to feast on carefully prepared Noche Buena!

To keep the season festive yet weight-gain-free, Uptown/Downtown lists things to keep in mind!

1. Have a weight management plan.  Believe in the adage “Forewarned is forearmed.” Mentally condition yourself to be mindful of what you will be eating during the holidays. Experts suggest that people who mentally commit to being mindful of what they eat during the holidays gain less weight, even when they fall off the wagon than people who have no weight management plan at all.

2. Engage in conversations during meals. One reason we eat a lot is because our mind is focused on the pleasurable activity of eating. When we shift this pleasure to another activity (in this case, engaging in lively conversation), the desire to eat is suppressed.

3. Fill up on fiber. According to experts, fiber-rich food induces satiety and helps greatly in reducing general caloric intake. Eating fiber-rich food also helps us with our digestion and bowel movement. Fiber is found in many vegetables, fruits, nuts and whole wheat pastas. Be sure to favor these types of food during meals.

4. Favor the clear spirits. Clear spirit drinks such as vodka and soda (approximately 60 calories per glass), gin and tonic (approximately 64 calories per glass) and prosecco (about 80 calories per glass) are lower in calories than other alcoholic beverages. Beer can run up to 175 calories for 12 ounces while white wine can cost you 160 calories a glass!

5. Weigh yourself every day. Dissenters desist! Although daily weigh-ins are generally frowned upon, for our holiday objective, this practice actually makes sense. By stepping on the scale every day (best time to do so is first thing in the morning after your bathroom ritual) can give you a visual tracking of your weight and in so doing, will alert you if you are packing in the pounds.

6. Drink lots of water. Drinking water before meals reduces appetite. A study published by PubMed Central indicated that this practice worked most effectively on middle-aged and senior individuals. Another study suggested that drinking a glass of water before meals resulted in a reduction in intake of about 75 calories per meal.

7. Walk the calories off! Walking is one exercise that is easiest to perform for most people. Even a  30-minute brisk walk will make a difference in burning stubborn calories. The best part is that walking around while shopping counts as exercise, too! Here is a tip worth considering: while buying gifts, make it a point to head over to your car to deposit your items and then return to the mall or department store for more shopping. Taking multiple trips back and forth not only enables you to secure your packages, it also encourages your body to work up a burn (the packages act as weights!). For added exercise, use the stairs instead of the elevators and escalators.

May this season find you happy, prosperous and within your ideal body mass index!



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