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ELECTION 2022

Keep healthy habits this Xmas

SUNDAY MAGAZINE
By Faith Kariuki | Dec 12th 2021 | 3 min read

Family enjoying a Christmas meal. [Courtesy]

The holiday season is quickly approaching. A joyous time of the year filled with friends, family, parties and sumptuous meals. This period is marked with a lot of excitement but also with hurdles to maintaining healthy habits sustained throughout the year.

One of the best ways to stay on track during the holidays is to plan your meals in advance.

Keep your weekly meal plan and shop beforehand to ensure you have what you need to make healthy meals at home.

Fruits and vegetables can be a rare commodity in the stores during the holidays so have adequate stock. If you have a party or a family meal you are looking forward to, make great choices with your other meals throughout the day.

There will be many disruptions to normal daily schedules that will interfere with meal timings. Skipping meals especially breakfast in anticipation of a big family meal or a party is not uncommon.

Skipping a meal can leave you feeling famished - you are more likely to overindulge later on. Consuming healthy and filling meals before going to a party will not only help you avoid overindulge but will help reduce cravings and help you stick to a healthy diet.

Increase vegetable intake

With all the sumptuous meals served during the holidays, it is tempting to take a break from vegetables. To avoid binging on high caloric foods and leaving your vegetables untouched, serve your vegetables first and have a fill on them before you can go for your favourites.

You could also have a bowl of vegetable salad before going to that party. Having a larger serving of vegetables will help you feel fuller for longer and help you avoid overeating and snacking unnecessarily.

And drink up your water! Keeping hydrated will help you avoid overindulging and reduce cravings for sugary foods and drinks.

To know how much water you need to drink per day, multiply your weight by 0.033. For example, if you are 50 kilogrammes, your minimum water intake should be 1.65 litres (50*0.033)

The holiday season is definitely a time for relaxing and having fun with friends and family. Sticking to a regular workout schedule may be challenging. To stay active, incorporate workouts in your family activities. For example, you can take walks as a family after a meal, ride a bike, play football or any other physically engaging game.

Drink responsibly

If you must drink, moderate your intake by limiting it to the recommended two drinks or less for men or one drink or less for women.

Alternate your drink with an equivalent or higher amount of water to help you cut on the amount consumed, stay hydrated and suppress your desire to consume high-calorie foods. Remember, alcohol intake is associated with many health effects whose risk increases with the amount consumed.

The holidays should be happy times so do not stress too much about your health goals and miss out on the fun.

Find a balance between making healthier choices and enjoying the season. In case you fall off the track, you can always get right back on it. Happiness and joy are more important than staying on track for just a few days in a year.

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