If like us, you are already well behind on your resolution to Lose weight, exercise regularly, follow a healthy diet, you are in good company! We have spoken to Dr Anita Das Gupta, Clinical Dietitian at Burjeel Hospital to find out what she would recommend we do…
Basically start again. Often starting bang on New Year is tough as we are still in party mode from the weeks leading up to it. Shifting those extra pounds can be done by balancing the calories we consume with our workout. “Balancing calories means following a healthy diet that contains all the food groups, making sure it is coloured and varied to avoid losing interest”, says Dr Gupta, reminding us that we also need to give our body all the important nutritional elements, such as vitamins and minerals. She suggests:
Organize your meals
Organizing your daily meals is very important for maintaining an ideal weight. It is recommended that you eat controlled quantities in all the 3 main meals. Skipping one meal will make you feel more starved and may cause you to eat a larger portion in the next meal. Light snacks (2-3 snacks) can be taken between the main meals every day.
Eat light and eat right
Start your day with a minimum of a glass of water, warm water with lemon and honey will be good. Breakfast should include a bowl of oatmeal with nuts and a spoonful of flaxseeds; scrambled eggs with a piece of wholegrain toast, or muesli with yoghurt and berries. Lunch should include steamed, grilled, baked, roasted or sautéed dishes. Dinner should begin with a light soup ( no cream) or lentil soup and should always be a light dinner that has carbohydrates, protein and good fats.
Snack it out
As mentioned before, eating a snack between your main meals can prevent you from overeating in the next meal. Therefore, you should make sure you eat some snacks during the day. The healthy snacks should be small meals, containing the nutritional elements that may be lacking in the rest of the meals. Examples of snacks are fresh or dried fruits, vegetable slices, such as carrots or cucumbers, raw nuts (unsalted – a handful) or milk (low-fat), and some dairy products or a dark chocolate (30 grams) which is the amount allowed per person per day. Always remember that even if your options are healthy, do not take excess quantities of them.
Take time to savour every mouthful of your food – opt for smaller bites and chewing slowly. The brain takes around 15-20 minutes to realize that your stomach is full, meaning by dessert time you are unlikely to overeat.
Eat the ‘good for you’ options first
Starting your meal with a bowl of clear broth or green salad will mean that you are fuller by the time you progress to the stuffed turkey and mashed potatoes and finally dessert.
It is easy to get distracted by the unhealthy options available in abundance when you shop for groceries, especially if you shop on an empty stomach. Opt for fresh fruits and vegetables.
dairy or whole grains are a healthier alternative, so fill your shopping cart with these. Also, use a natural sweetener that tastes just as good as refined, processed sugar in desserts.
When organizing a get-together or going for a party, do not plan your menu around food choices that are heavy in cream-based sauces or empty calories like in a casserole. Instead of the usual mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes grilled with a drizzle of olive oil is a yummier, healthier option. Rather than a deep fried chicken breast slathered in mushroom cream, grilled chicken with a side dish of fresh vegetable salad is a better choice.
Hang out with friends at the park
Do not kill time in front of the TV after a large meal, put on your running shoes and head to the park with a friend. Play a game of badminton or just take a walk around inhaling some fresh air while catching up.
Be mindful of beverages
Alcoholic drinks lessen inhibitions and prompt overeating and the non-alcoholic beverages are usually laced with added refined sugars. Instead drink at least 6-8 glasses of water every day. You can flavor the water with cut up fruits, mint and lemon or preferred veggies.
So, this New Year, make resolutions and shed those added pounds by following simple health tips.