All I want for Christmas is to be in shape!

Christmas-in-shape-time-beirut-lebanon

Let me guess…you are coming back to Lebanon on vacation and you not only know that you’re going to eat till you drop on Christmas and New Year’s Eve but also each day and night in between. It might be the other way around?…you live in Lebanon and your friends and relatives are coming from abroad and its everyday eating, drinking and partying!

Well in both cases, here are some suggestions and guidelines to help you curb overeating, gaining 3-4 kg, and thus ruining the last 2 months of diet you’ve been putting all your efforts in! Well, I can’t promise you will lose weight during end-year festivities but I promise the following tips will help you maintain your weight! So here they go:

First I should make sure you know that it’s not the Christmas vacation lunch and dinner menus that need to change, it’s your eating behavior that should change!

1-       Do not sit at the table if you are very hungry: Avoid staying more than three hours without food. Take small snacks throughout the day, like vegetable soup for example that does not have high calorie levels, and increases satiety at the same time! This way you will not overeat during main meal! This method also helps you to keep your metabolism elevated!

2-       Do not deprive yourself from eating your favorite foods. To avoid weight gain, try eating small portions accompanied by vegetables and 1 or 2 fruits.

3-       Try not to abuse of alcoholic beverages. Those are very high in calories especially sweet cocktails! (Stay tuned, my next article is on alcohol beverages, its caloric content and impact on health).

4-       Drink lots of water: If you are not well hydrated, you will feel hungrier! Water will make you feel satiety by filling up your belly. IT also helps your metabolism work perfectly! And all that with ZERO CALORIE!

5-       Stay away from foods that do not need forks, knives, spoons to eat. This way you eliminate fat and high-calorie choices like chips, cookies, cakes, dough and pizza

6-       Drink lots of teas. Whether it is ginger tea, flower tea, chamomile, peppermint and herb teas those will make you feel full and prevent you from nibbling all day!

7-       Snack on a handful of nuts, walnuts, chestnut, almonds or a few dried apricots, figs, raisins 2-3 hours before big meals. The high content of fiber present in such foods will give you a feeling of satiety, preventing you from overeating when you have a lunch or dinner to attend. Do not exceed a handful of those since they are high in calories.

8-       Avoid sauces such as mayo, blue cheese, fatty chicken or meat stock. Enjoy lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, low-fat yogurt and taste your foods with all types of herbs such as cinnamon, oregano, saffron, rosemary, etc…those are not only tasty and add flavor to your foods but are very beneficial for the functioning of your cells, heart and arteries!

9-       Don’t eat all! Take some home! Don’t be shy to take home, you will feel shyer if you gain 4 kg at the end of the year!

10-    Don’t sit next to the sweets table; you will be tempted to eat more sweets even if you are not hungry.

11-    Eat in a small plate! Whether it is the main dish or the sweets dish! And of course don’t Refill!

12-    When filling your plate, start by picking the healthiest foods such as salads (eating plenty of green leafy veggies makes you feel full), low fat meat cuts and turkey, this will leave less space for fatty, saucy foods!

13- Take you time to chew your food while eating; this is better for digestion purposes. If you take your time to chew you will eat less because 20 minutes is the time your brain needs to give the signal that you are full.

14-    Walk, walk, and keep walking!!! Walk in the streets, walk for hours in the malls before starting to buy. Take the stairs instead of escalators!!  This will help you maintain your weight to a great extent while you taste some yummy goodies from here and there!

15- If the dinner or lunch party is at your place, avoid cooking fatty, sugary, and salty foods abundantly and whatever leftovers you have, distribute among your friends before they leave your house!

Please between lunch invitations, dinner invitations, party here and party there don’t forget the Reason of the Season… find time everyday to feed your spiritual part through prayers, reading God’s scriptures, going to Church and doing some Charity! You will find yourself a more complete person and true happiness will be seen in your smile!

I wish this Christmas that God bless you all!

Samia Khoury

Brazilian- Lebanese Dietitian Samia Khoury, AUB graduate

Sehat Jounieh, Bouez Building, 2nd Floor – Lebanon +961 3 48 31 86

Join my Facebook Group: “Samia Khoury Diet Clinic”

You will find at Samia Khoury Diet Clinic:

Weight loss program (Diet) — look thinner, be healthier, control diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol, triglycerides, anemia and much more

Japanese Co2 foot bath — unique and effective foot therapy from Mitsubishi that consists of healing people with diabetes from foot pains and ulcers and preventing amputation. It also improves a patient’s walking distance and sensations in the feet and toes by bringing back circulation of the blood to the small arteries and nerves of the feet and hands. Smokers, people in dialysis and the elderly will also benefit from.

Relaxation Massages — relief of stress and body pain

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