6 Tips To Stay Healthy During The Holidays
It’s that time of year again, sharing the Lunar New Year festivities with your family and relatives. It’s a time of reflection, to bring together the family, young and old, and celebrate the new year with new beginnings.
Of course with countless social gatherings with welcoming foodie treats there is temptation to overindulge and feel guilty because of it. Unfortunately, its not only guilt which will be on people’s minds, there will be changes in their metabolisms too and for the worse, unless changes to the lifestyle occur post-holiday period. Let’s review what changes can take place.
With an increasing intake of calories and carbohydrate and sugary foods, which typically takes place during Lunar new year, there will extra demands placed on the liver to process and manage those calories. All these extra calories increase the triglyceride levels in the body which in turn can increase the amount of fat stored and further increase the risk of insulin-resistance or pre-diabetes. This will influence one’s energy level and people will feel more tired than usual, and there’ll be likely increased sugar cravings which will worsen the spiral into pre-diabetes.
What can be done to stop this effect without spoiling the festive spirit of celebrating with your family and friends?
- hydrate, drink plenty of water or teas before you eat, this can offset feelings of hunger, and help you eat less calories overall. Water will also assist in counteracting the effects of alcohol consumption if consumed.
- stay active! After eating a feast, go for a walk for 30 minutes in the outdoors, this helps with both improving digestion and also burning some calories so the effect of the carb intake is less damaging on the body.
- Stick to the meat and vegetable dishes and eat less of the pastries, cakes, cookies, breads or tarts. These latter foods are much higher in the carbohydrate content, which adversely affect your blood glucose levels and your waistline.
- When drinking alcohol, always try to drink a glass of water in between each alcoholic beverage, this will lessen the alcohol burden afterwards and you’ll be less likely to suffer any hangover effects.
- When considering the sauces to be added with your foods, be mindful that most sauces have added sugar to them to make them taste better. Traditional soy sauce produced without gluten is a healthier option and reducing the portion size of sauces added to dishes will have a positive impact on your health. Sauces with high sugar content include Hoi Sin sauce, Oyster Sauce, sweet chilli sauce.
- Finally when considering the amount of food on your plate, eat slowly and surely. When doing this your stomach will sense your fullness sooner than later, and this will assist in eating less. Also consider talking more with your family and friends, this will mean a greater distraction to eating, ultimately we want the social gatherings to be more fun with great conversations and shared joys.
Post-holidays any tiredness or weight-gain can be quickly nipped in the bud, by focusing on a low carb or ketogenic diet approach which will give you the energy you need to feel great again and start the new year in good spirits.
Functional Medicine Practitioner & Clinical Nutritionist
M.Sc Nutritional Therapy, Post-Grad Diploma Functional Medicine Institute of functional medicine & functional medicine University