Enjoying the Holiday Season and keeping your health in balance
The Holiday Season arrives, as also festive parties. Time to spend with your family and friends, while enjoying delicious meals.
Around this period, people ask me often: “Karen what can I do to enjoy this Holiday Season and still keeping my weight in balance?”
That’s why I would like to give you some suggestions to enjoy this wonderful time of the year and to start 2017 gracefully.
- Do not skip meals.
Many of us think that it’s better to skip breakfast or lunch, because an elaborate dinner is scheduled for today. Doing so, you are hungry arriving at the party and you can’t resist the salty snacks, chips, dips or other “most of time too fatty” appetizers. So, your belly is already full with these unhealthy snacks and you can’t enjoy anymore the following delicious dishes.
It’s better to have a good protein-rich breakfast and a light lunch like a soup or a salad. Before leaving for the party drink some water. So, you can resist the appetizer and make better choices in what to eat.
2. Enjoy a glass of alcohol.
In this period of the year more bottles of wine, champagnes and alike are opened. We all know that alcohol brings 9kcal/g, and influences our weight and hungry feeling.
Does it matter what we drink? Yes, remember the higher the alcohol percentage, the more kcal and the smaller the glass should be.
A glass of 125ml of Champagne-92kcal / Prosecco – 88kcal / White Wine 12.5% – 94 kcal / Red Wine 12% – 88kcal / Red Wine 13.5% – 100kcal
A glass of 25ml of Gin 66kcal / Whiskey 55kcal. A can of 330ml of Lager Beer – 132kcal. Cocktails are a bomb of calories. Ex. Mojito 159kcal, Pina Colada 174kcal.
Above all, drink a lot of water. Don’t forget to ask a bottle of water and drink it during the party/dinner.
3. Develop a certain strategy.
This sounds boring, but it isn’t. Important is that you develop a strategy during these days so you can keep your healthy lifestyle and enjoy the holiday season.
The menu: of course, it’s easier when the family or friends come to your place. Cook healthy and light but still very tasteful.
Think about vegetables with a yoghurt dip or homemade guacamole or humus, some shellfish or a soup as a starter, grilled or steamed fish or poultry with a lot of vegetables and make a dessert of fruits. Do plan for a lot of variety.
Most of the time I go to local stores, so I can find fresh food and know where it’s produced. My favorite butchers are Limacher in Hünenberg, Aklin in Zug and Käppeli Roggenmoser in Baar and Metzgerei Berchtold in Rotkreuz, vegetables and fruits I get by Buuregarte, who are also at the markets in Zug and Lucerne. Fish, I buy at Migros, and choose the bio-label. My poultry, I order at the farm shop in Strimatt 3 in Hünenberg.
Make good choices when you are invited. Avoid bread and sauces, drink a lot of water (be the driver to bring everybody home), take extra vegetables and eat slowly. Propose to bring yourself the dessert, so you can make it as healthy and light as you prefer.
4. Take time to exercise during the Holiday
Make time to be outside and to move. I must admit, these dark days do not temp to go for a walk. We prefer to stay longer in bed and to watch more television. But certainly, in this period our body needs extra movement as we consume more energy. We are lucky to live in this beautiful region, so please go out for a walk, invite the family to do the Vitaparcour in the differen locations in Canton Zug (check the locations here), take your bike to do your courses (temperature is not that low yet). By moving we burn more calories and we keep our minds clear
5. Keep drinking
And above all, keep on drinking at least 33ml/kg bodyweight herbal teas. In Drogerie Urs, Steinhausen you can find a whole assortment of nice herbal teas which are good for your wellbeing. Since a couple of years, I start the new year with a good detox, so my body is renewed and ready for the rest of the year. Remember, we don’t lose or build new habits between Christmas and New Year, but between New Year and Christmas.
I wish you all a nice Holiday Season and the best for a healthy 2017.
Karen Van Praet-Verbeeck
MSc in Nutrition and Dietetics
University of Ghent, Belgium
Tel.: +41 (0) 78 920 5719