Survival of the fittest

Published November 30, 2021, 2:30 PM

by Cheshire Que

How to stay fit during the festive season

EATS TIME Scheduling your meals is a big part of a healthier lifestyle (freepik)

Celebrating the Christmas season this year may still be a little bit scaled down compared to previous years despite seeing the end of this pandemic. Christmas parties and gatherings may not be as grand and frequent as before. Nothing, however, will stop Filipino families from celebrating the season with traditionally rich, calorie-laden dishes. Will you get through the holiday season without getting a Santa belly? Here are some tips to help you stay fit during the festive season:

Do intermittent fasting.

Fasting has been practiced for religious and health purposes since ancient times. Numerous studies have shown its health benefits, especially when it comes to cellular repair and natural stem cell production. While on fasting mode, the body utilizes stored fat as energy. Intermittent fasting, however, must be done correctly. You don’t just skip meals for prolonged hours and eat one meal late at night. That will not be good for your body because it is not aligned with your body clock also known as the circadian rhythm. Studies have shown that time-restricted feeding of at least 12 hours leads to a healthier lifestyle. Prolonged fasting, however, of more than 13 hours without breakfast can increase weight and blood glucose level, elevate total cholesterol level, and increase insulin production which can make the body store up more fat. Time-restricted feeding can be done between 12 and 21 hours of fasting period but this should not be done by individuals who have diabetes and who are on insulin shots. People with a medical condition must also discuss this with their physician and dietitian for proper guidance.

What is the proper way to do intermittent fasting? According to a Patterson RE et als research on the Metabolic Effects of Intermittent Fasting, Eating in alignment with circadian rhythm associated with reduced risk of chronic diseases. The stomach repairs between 7 and 9 a.m. while the hormone insulin begins to increase around 7:30 a.m. Having a good breakfast around this time and having your last meal before 7 p.m. will give you a fast of 12 to 14 hours. The body produces the sleep hormone melatonin at around 9 p.m. which impedes the production of insulin. Therefore, eating late at night is technically not good for the body as it messes up with your hormones and metabolism.

H2O YES! Drinking ample water aids with weight loss and better physical wellbeing

Save the calories for mealtimes with your loved ones. Snacks will only add more calories and make you gain weight if you are not physically active. Make sure that you savor your meals and take time to focus during meal times to achieve the feeling of satiety to prevent craving for snacks in between meals. It is also best not to buy empty-calorie food or junk food to prevent temptation. If you receive food treats as Christmas presents, open these to be shared during meals. Share the calories with everyone. If you get famished in between meals, have a fruit and some nuts or seeds with lots of water. Fill up on water and fiber to sustain you until the next meal.


Time-restricted feeding can be done between 12 to 21 hours of fasting period but this should not be done by individuals who have diabetes and who are on insulin shots.

Avoid nighttime nibbling.

Eating outside your body clock, meaning eating late at night can lead to obesity, heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, and even cancer. If you get cravings at night, try to drink a glass of water because the brain often mistakes thirst for hunger. You may not be really hungry but perhaps you are a bit dehydrated. 

Don’t be a steady snacker.

Save the calories for mealtimes with your loved ones. Snacks will only add more calories and make you gain weight if you are not physically active. Make sure that you savor your meals and take time to focus during meal times to achieve the feeling of satiety to prevent craving for snacks in between meals. It is also best not to buy empty-calorie food or junk food to prevent temptation. If you receive food treats as Christmas presents, open these to be shared during meals. Share the calories with everyone. If you get famished in between meals, have a fruit and some nuts or seeds with lots of water. Fill up on water and fiber to sustain you until the next meal.

Lastly, be physically active. You have to be mindful of your movement throughout the day even if youve already exercised for one hour. Keep your metabolism up and burn those calories through walking, going up and down flights of stairs, pacing, walking in place, standing, lifting and carrying things, dancing, and anything that will entail movement. Why dont you walk in place for about 30 minutes while watching your fave K-drama? Or dance with your kids as a form of exercise? Just keep moving.

Have a merry and healthy Christmas season!

[email protected]

 
CLICK HERE TO SIGN-UP
 

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

["lifestyle","well-being","lifestyle"]
[2875585,2913833,2913464,2912774,2913261,2913252,2913139]