The holidays are upon us and that means we are in for a lot of social gatherings and, yes, food. It is way too easy to indulge in our favorite holiday food amidst all the merrymaking but before you do, don’t forget that overdoing it can wreak havoc to your health. However, it is still possible to enjoy eating during the holidays without risking your health if you follow these simple tips.

Keep things in perspective.

Let’s face it. The holiday season is not the best time to try and lose weight. You’re bound to be exposed to a lot of food so losing weight is not really realistic. Keep it real and change your goal from weight loss to weight maintenance instead.

Get active.

Before you allow yourself to indulge on holiday food, exercise already. Since you already know you’ll be indulging this season, be proactive and lengthen your fitness routine. If all those gatherings are making you too busy to exercise, remember that the key is to be physically active every day. Going for a brisk walk will already help burn off the extra calories.

Cook healthy meals.

You can still make your regular holiday meals but at the same time cut down on the calories. The key is on using the right ingredients and cooking techniques. Only use healthy ingredients. Use natural herbs and spices for flavor. Avoid frying. Bake, grill or steam your dishes instead.

Eat before you go.

If you’re going to a party and you’re not sure if healthy options will be served, eat a nutritious meal before you go. This way, you will no longer be hungry when you arrive and will be less tempted to eat a lot.

Be selective.

You will no doubt be faced with a lot of tempting food options because holiday tables are normally beautiful and bountiful. Now is the time to be choosy. Survey the selections first before you fill your plate and when you do, pick the healthier choices.

Control Your Portions.

While it’s tempting to try everything on the table, eating a lot will definitely be bad for you. You can still sample everything but just select small quantities of those that have a lot of calories. This way you will not feel deprived and still enjoy eating.

Avoid temptation.

Don’t tempt yourself by positioning yourself near the buffet table. Doing so increases your risk of overeating. Just get a plate of food and find yourself a place to sit and eat where you will be less inclined to go back for second helpings.

Eat slowly.

One of the best ways to really enjoy your meal is to savor it. Eating slowly allows you to taste each mouthful and at the same time makes you feel satisfied and full more quickly.

Choose beverages wisely.

Some people focus so much on controlling their food intake but then go overboard with the drinks. Remember that some heavy beverages such as soda and fruit punch as well as alcoholic drinks have high calorie content. Be careful and choose water or diet soda instead.

Focus on what’s important.

While food is one of the best things about the holidays, it is certainly not the most important. Remember that enjoying the season goes beyond the food. It means spending precious time with your family and friends.

While eating is something we all love to do during the holidays, indulging too much will leave us feeling guilty by the time the season is over and we have already packed on the pounds. We can still enjoy holiday eating by making a conscious effort to make healthier choices.

Written by Anna Yalung, MD

Anna Yalung, MD

Regenestem Manila’s Head Dermatologist Anna Yalung, MD is an accomplished physician with more than ten years of experience in providing excellent skin care, treatment, and on-point diagnosis to patients here and abroad.Just like her husband, Dr. Eric Yalung, Dra. Yalung does not stop finding and adapting new methods and technology that can enhance the services she provides to her clients. One such example is her foray into cell-based anti-aging medicine.Honed in this new development through several intensive trainings abroad, Dra. Yalung is ready to add more expertise to Regenestem Manila’s already packed portfolio of services.Her mission — to make people feel happy in their own skin, in the easiest and most effective way.

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