Christmas brings us gifts and a few extra calories. Some people believe it is not worth going on a diet during the holidays, so they choose to relax thinking that, in January, they will take care of the extra pounds. But, for those who prefer partying and welcoming the new year without regrets, these tips (that I follow all year long) will not make you feel like a “sinner” during the most festive time of the year.
There are four special celebrations and five for Hispanics: Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, and Los Reyes Magos (Three Wise Men). If you count all the extra parties at work and get together with friends, there is at least a full week of extra calories. So, don’t start eating and drinking at the beginning of the month; be good the rest of the days. Keeping a balanced diet can help you maintain your current weight.
If you are hosting a party, always have healthy and fresh choices on the table. Yummy salads and veggie recipes can be served with our traditional turkey, lechón, and tamales or pasteles. Avoid snacks in a bag and ready-to-eat salads, control the amount of salt, and prepare your own dressings. If you are attending to a pot-luck party, be the one that brings the healthy choice.
Watch your food portions. Eat at home before leaving to a party. That way you avoid overeating the appetizers or taking several trips to the buffet table.
Skip desserts or choose them wisely. If you have five dessert options in front of you, choose only one and make sure it’s a moderate portion. Consuming high sugar food is a no-no 365 days a year. Limit the amount of alcoholic drinks and its ingredients. Wine is better than cocktails; these last ones usually contain lots of sugar and processed juices with artificial colors and flavors. Stay away from the coquito, rompope, eggnog, and all their “relatives”. If you want to drink one of these, just have a small glass as an aperitif or as an after dinner, but never drink them all-night long.
Drink a lot of water before, during, and after the party. It will help to control your anxiety to eat compulsively. Your body will stay hydrated and in a ‘cleaning mode’.
Stay active. Don’t sit all night; dance, help the host refilling drinks and appetizers. And the most important thing, don’t skip your regular exercise routine this season.
The best gift you can give yourself is to follow this ‘recipe’ all year long. Yes, it can be done!
Come rico y pásala sabroso… Happy Holidays!