The Festive Season: Indulge Responsibly

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By Dr. Antonella Grima

Article as appeared on Ilsien in-Nisa Magazine, December 2014 issue

The time to be merry is once again here and, as we all know, too much merriment often leaves its signs on our waistline. Public Health doctor and Nutritionist Dr. Antonella Grima gives us a few tips on how to enjoy the festive season without facing the consequences, or rather piling the pounds.

Contain yourself: It is ok to taste foods that would be on the forbidden list at other times of the year, but the trick is just that – tasting. Enjoy bite sized portions of the yummy stuff and savour every morsel, rather than piling your plate high with food, thus saving yourselves plenty of calories.

Compensate: When you know that you will be eating more than you ought to, stay light during the rest of the day. Eat low calorie alternatives, such as vegetable soups or salads and snack on low calorie options, such as a skimmed yoghurt or a fruit. Drink plenty of water to help your digestion and give your system a good flush.

Skim on the hidden calories: Stay away from cream-based sauces, mayonnaise, oils and butter. These all have a high caloric content and make a big contribution to the amount of calories you consume while celebrating.

Drinks count too: Watch the booze and try to stick to one drink a day if you are a woman, and two if you are a man. This will not only help prevent any alcohol-related damage, but also keep you in trim shape since alcohol is packed with calories. Needless to say, when going for non-alcoholic beverages, water is always the best option. Sweetened drinks and fruit juices all contribute towards the number of calories you consume.

Get moving: A brisk walk or jog in the cold air restarts your digestive system after last night’s banquet, while helping you burn away some of the culinary sins you may have committed. Do not fall into the trap of overeating with the promise of exercising it off however since, as the saying goes, a moment on your lips, a lifetime on your hips.

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