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All through the year, we celebrate a special occasion such as Eid El Fitr, Eid El Adha, Christmas and New Year’s and at these festivities food is generally the highlight of the event. From roast turkeys, lamb and rice, and maamoul to chocolate, family and friends meet and a huge celebration takes place. However, it’s at times like these that most people tend to put on a few kilos and once it’s over, they start going on crash diets! In order to avoid weight gain, all you need to do is follow these healthy eating tips to help guide you during the holiday season:

  • Do not skip meals, especially breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day to help kick start your metabolism after the night’s fast. Eating breakfast is essential to maintain blood sugar levels, avoid overeating at lunchtime and maintain energy levels throughout the day.
  • Eat small and frequent meals to help boost your metabolism and curb your appetite.
  • Start with a salad & ask for the dressing on the side; avoid any cream or mayo-based dressings. You can’t go wrong with a bit of lemon and balsamic vinegar.
  • Control your food portions; it can help if you divide your plate into three parts. Make sure ½ your plate is filled with vegetables, ¼ filled with complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, whole-wheat pasta or whole-grain bread while the remaining ¼ to be filled with lean meat, fish, skinless chicken or legumes such as lentils or beans.
  • Avoid fried and fatty foods; opt for foods that are grilled, baked, broiled, steamed or poached.
  • Do not arrive to the event hungry; that way you can avoid overindulging. Have a small snack before going out. This can include a cup of low fat yogurt, a piece of fruit or even low fat cheese and crackers.
  • Grab a small plate when choosing foods from the buffet table.
  • Sample a variety of foods when you are faced with a wide selection of food items; however moderation is key for controlling your calorie intake.
  • Fancy some dessert… go right ahead but try to share it with someone
  • Try to increase your exercise levels during the holidays as your calorie intake will tend to be more than the usual.
  • Remember to eat slowly and enjoy your food.

Eating healthy or sticking to a diet during the festive season may be somewhat of a challenge; however you shouldn’t feel the need to deprive yourself of food that you love. Just remember these tips and you are well on your way to healthy eating and healthy living even during the holidays and on special occasions.

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