Staying fit and healthy during and after a holiday season isn’t easy to most of us. With the holiday season is fast approaching, any party, any gathering or any celebration calls for food, lots of delicious savory dishes, mouth-watering sweet desserts. Even if you are a discipline dieter, it’d be a challenge not to taste every dish. The thought of eating today, dieting tomorrow is easier to say than practice.
Illustrated photo by Gabriel Garcia Marengo
We have researched and found these three simple rules to help you keeping your diet in check right after a big meal. You will soon see the result if you remember to stick with these rules daily.
First rule of dieting:
Illustrated photo by Brina Blum
To have a healthy diet, sugar or carbohydrate is definitely not your friend. Labeling sugar or carbohydrates as a toxic substance is quite accurate. Sugar not only contributes to our weight gain, but it can also lead to long-term health problems like liver damage, liver fatty, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, dementia & even cancer.
Who could have guessed that such sweet delicious desserts are so bad for our health?
According to the recent article published by Harvard Mahoney Neuroscience, the brain is so rich in nerve cells, it is the most energy-demanding organ. Therefore, the brain uses half of the energy produced by sugar. Sugar energy is an important nutrient for our body and our brain function properly.
So how to cut the sugar out of our diet without messing up our body functioning routines is the key.
Here are a few suggestions that have been proven to work for the majory to dieters:
• Walk away from all the desserts that are rich in sugar and fat. Feed your sweet craving with natural sweet treats like fruits, nuts or savory vegetable snacks.
• If you are like the most of us in the office, the 3-o’clock sugar craving is hard to ignore. Solution: have a good variety of healthy snacks around you all the time.
• Replace sugary drinks like juices, soda with refreshing glasses of water (or sparkling water for a more bubbling enjoyment) infused in fresh fruit slices and lemon (or lime) slices.
• Stay away from cocktail drinks. These drinks are packed with high fructose corn syrup. Researchers in UK reported that on a night out, we could consume 1000 calories or more with just the alcohol alone. Even a better choice in term of dieting is wine, 2 glasses of wine can be as much as 450 calories. So the party is over, put the glass of wine or that bottle of beer down. Trade it in with a better refreshment like fruit infused sparkling water, coconut juice (no sugar added, of course) or tea.
Illustrated photo by Casey Lee
For a healthy diet, you should pay attention to what to eat as well as how much you eat. Cutting down the portion of the regular amount of food intake your body has got used to can be a tough challenge. But don’t be discouraged! This next step, we’ll lay out the diet plan that doesn’t require you to starve yourself at all.
Small plates don’t always translate to small portions. You have to trick your brain that you have had a substantial amount of food. How to achieve that? First, go ahead to use your regular dinner plate. Fill it up about half of the plate with high fiber food, like vegetables. If you have salad on your plate, go easy with the dressing. Then a quarter of the plate should be filled with food rich in protein. The last quarter of the plate, you can have some starchy food. But be sure to make smart choices on a healthy starch, like brown rice, quinoa, baked beans, lentils or slices of whole grain seeded bread.
Lastly, the final rule of thumb for dieting, staying healthy and lose weight fast is increasing exercise.
Illustrated photo by Curtis Mac Newton
Staying on course of dieting alone is great but still not good enough if you want to get back into shape and burn those excess foods from the party as fast as you can. The best way is combining your diet with exercise. If walking is your exercise routine, increase your time and also increase your pace. Brisk walking can burn calories much faster than taking a stroll. If aerobic is your choice of exercise, add some weight to the daily exercise routine. Whatever form or methods of exercise that you’ve been doing, continue do it but push yourself a bit further, more strenuous than leisure so your muscles would require more calories to burn to support those moves. With this in mind and in practice, you can enjoy the food without any guilt and keep your body fit even after this long holiday season.
After a feast of all the delicious buttery dishes, the sweet confectionery delicacies, the bubbling flow of cocktails, it is not easy to switch back to the regular, boring healthy food or snacks.
That’s why we have done our research and found a few food replacements that might please your palate and still keep your fitness diet on the right track. Add fresh fruits to your diet to keep a healthy eating habit.
Illustrated photo by Iwona Lach
Fruits are the gifts from the nature to you and your health. They are packed with fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and other photo-chemicals benefit to your health.
One type of fresh fruit might bore your taste quickly. It might put you back to craving for some other sweet treats. To avoid this, pack a good amount of different types of fresh fruits.
Nuts are nature gifts to our health. Add nuts to your diet to give yourself a healthy snacking habit.
Don’t let the squirrels and birds take all these treasured food away from us.
The list of health benefits coming from nuts is impressively long. Here are just a few highlight benefits from these nutty snacks:
- Good source of fiber: Nuts are high in fiber, which helps lowering your cholesterol & preventing type 2 diabetes.
- Good source of Vitamin E: Vitamin E is known to prevent the plaques developed in your arteries, which prevent the potential coronary artery disease or a heart attack.
- Good source of Omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3 is a healthy form of fatty acid to prevent dangerous heart rhythms that can lead to hear disease.
- Good source of unsaturated fat: nuts contain both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats which promote heart health.
The list of benefits goes on and on. But on the top list, we can see that nuts are essential sources of nutritions for your heart to stay healthy. So go ahead, go nut with nuts!
Illustrated photo by Dennis "DieTa" Klein
Yogurt is not only a good source to give you animal protein and calcium, but also an excellent source of providing your body with probiotic, a kind of live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, especially your digestive system. Hence, it will help you to lose weight naturally and faster.
For the health benefits, you should have plain, unsweetened yogurt. You can add the flavor and sweetness by using natural resources like fresh fruits and nuts.
It is not a healthy way to cut the starch completely out of your diet. You should have some starch to keep your energy level balance. You should have about 1/4 of your plate with a starchy food. You should choose a starchy food which is loaded with fibers such as corns. Corns for diet? Yes, you heard it right. Corns contains lots of fiber, proteins and folic acid for a healthy diet plan.
Illustrated photo by Dragne Marius
- Good source of protein. 1 cup of cooked corn = 5 gram of protein
- Good source of fiber. 1 cup of cooked corn = 4 gram of fiber
- Good source of folate / folic acid. 1 cup of fresh cooked corn = 34 microgram of folate
- Good starchy, high in fiber food/snack for diet plan.
Vegetables should be added to your daily meal plan whether you chose to be on diet or not. Vegetables give your body essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and more to keep your energy and stamina up, your mind alert and your muscles strong. A healthy diet plan requires healthy eating habit with lots of vegetables on the plate.
If you chose to eat only 1 vegetable on the plate, pick kale! Kale is the super-food of all the green-leaf vegetables.
This super goodness gift from nature is easy to grow and packed with the most nutritional compounds and medicinal benefits, here is just a few listed:
- An excellent source of vitamins and minerals that is essential to our bodies.
- An abundant source of powerful antioxidants found in kales, such as Quercetin and Kaempferol, which have numerous beneficial effects on health. These antioxidants slow down the aging process. Kales provide powerful substances to protect heart diseases, lowering blood pressure, provide a natural anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-depressant and anti-cancer effects.