Lifestyle

How to Fight Holiday Flab

Yes, you can avoid having a Santa-belly after Christmas!
IMAGE The CW ART Naomi Torrecampo

Special ham, quezo de bola, ensaymada,  fruit cake...Can't you just taste Christmas?

With all the holiday parties you have to attend, it's impossible not to stuff yourself with all the yummy food.  And when the parties do end and  it's time to go back to school, there's still a mountain of sinful cookies, brownies, and chocolates that were given to you and your family as gifts at home! You just can't let them go to waste so they go into your mouth—and on to your hips and your butt and your now flabby tummy. Wait a minute! Let's backtrack. How did this happen again?

According to Nutritionist-dietician Llena L. Tan-Arcenas, "Energy comes from the food young girls eat. If the food intake exceeds their energy need or requirement (the amount of energy needed by the body), the excess is converted into fat and is stored in the body. One gains a pound if she has stored at least 3,500 calories."

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So what do you do when you're surrounded with food and must attend one dinner party every night for two whole weeks? Tan-Arcenas has a few tips you will find quite useful:

Go for whole-grain and enriched breads and cereals like oatmeal, low fat dairy food like yogurt and skim milk. Eat leaner cuts of meat, poultry, fish, and legumes like soya and soya products. Load up on fruits and vegetables. Take smaller servings. Avoid going back for seconds if you already feel content.  Try to use a small plate so that it will look full—and you get less food, too!

Instead of fried food, feast on boiled, steamed, and broiled dishes. Take only small portions of food high in fat and sugar like fried poultry or meat, cakes, candies, chocolates, chips, and other junk food. Also, avoid drinking alcoholic beverages and soft drinks. If you can't refuse a slice of cake, then just ask for half or one-third of a slice. Go for some aerobic exercise like walking, dancing, swimming.

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So this Christmas, there's no need to  starve yourself when everyone else is having a decadent delectable feast. Just remember to eat in moderation. Now get out there and party!

This article was originally published in the December 2000 issue of Candy Magazine.

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Llena L. Tan-Arcenas
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