Christmas and New Year are holidays that we enjoy with our family and friends. We have more free time at our disposal, which we divide into visitations and evening outings. But it is also a time full of taste temptations. Yes, food is a pleasure that many give in, without restrictions, without suspensions, but with remorse. Despite the hard work they have put in all year round, the discipline, the endless hours in the gym, they cannot resist and „bow down“ uncontrollably, trying all kinds of food, with the result that after the holidays their scales to struggle.
But not everyone is like that. There are also those who resist, who manage to fight their love for food, who… do not participate in the joy, do not have fun, but stay in isolation, in their „corner“, feeling afraid to try even mom’s traditional homemade Christmas’s sweets.
„Many at this time of year are overwhelmed by feelings of anxiety about their weight. They modify days before their diet to have room to eat something more during the holidays, or as soon as they eat something they run miles to burn it, feeling guilty. No, that should not be the case. Everyone should be able to eat, drink and be happy at Christmas.
Of course, this does not mean that they can eat everything, in any quantity, whenever they want, because the result of this behavior will be much more pounds.
The secret is on the one hand not to use food and drink as a reason to socialize and participate, nor as a means of unloading. It only takes flexibility and a little attention to satisfy our palate, without extreme behaviors in any direction „, explains the Specialist in Dietetics Mr. Dimitris Oikonomakis, head of a team of nutritionists and gymnasts who love good nutrition and exercise.
So what should we do to manage these days that force us to get away from our ideal, daily diet, to maintain our weight, without being deprived? Mr. Oikonomakis advises:
- Follow a flexible diet, which gives you the freedom to choose, provided you maintain the right proportion of macronutrients (proteins, fats, carbohydrates) throughout the day. Those who have adopted this dietary proposition decide for themselves what to eat, with no restrictions on food items, or exceptions to food groups. „There are no forbidden foods. If you want to eat chocolate chip cookies, melomakarona, piglet with potatoes or pork with plums, you can do it. „All you need to do is learn the amount of macronutrients you can consume in each day (since this is not the same for every person) and adjust your diet accordingly to maintain your weight or lose weight.“ Mr.Oikonomakis points out. „This diet is not restrictive, nor strict. „The freedom it gives does not create ‚deprivation syndromes‘ and that is why it can become a way of life.“
- Do not be discouraged if you get out of the program a little one day. Evaluate your action and move on to the next day, which gives you the opportunity to make amends. The temptations around you are many and it is not always easy to be restrained.
- Embrace the intermittent fast. It has been proven that many meals do not offer as much benefit as projected. Skipping breakfast, for example, lowers your total calorie intake and helps control hunger. Especially now, during the holidays, when meals are rich in calories, this option will help you reduce the total daily calories you receive and will allow you to enjoy a delicacy that you would otherwise lack.
- Be selective. If you accept all the invitations for lunch, dinner, drink, party, etc., the chances increase that you will not be able to resist. Or you can meet them all and choose which ones you will be relaxed and free to eat and drink whatever you want and which ones you will limit yourself to.
- Apply the saying of the wise man of antiquity Kleovoulos „excellent measure“. You will not be able to maintain your weight if you always say yes to every new taste. This does not mean that you should always be deprived and choose the light versions (yogurt sauce instead of sauce made from the fat left by the turkey as it is cooked), but neither should you always prefer foods or sweets with the most calories.
„A recent study conducted to test the effectiveness of a short behavioral intervention to prevent weight gain during the Christmas holiday period yielded positive results. It was performed on 272 adults aged 18 and over with a body mass index of 20 or more and showed that regular weighing, acceptance of weight management tips and information on the duration and intensity of physical activity required to expend the festive calories food and beverage yields and prevents weight gain.
And if, on the other hand, you put on 1-2 kilos does not matter, as long as you make every effort to lose them immediately. Because otherwise this behavior will be repeated and over time more will accumulate, and then it will be much harder to get rid of them.
If you permanently adopt a diet that allows you to eat all foods, that gives you the freedom to taste what you want and shape your menu, that you control, you will never gain weight. Even a short-term overstatement of your macronutrient needs will not affect your overall weight.
After all, it is not always possible to live in deprivation. It’s Christmas so enjoy it !! „, concludes Mr. Dimitris Oikonomakis.