Is your Christmas diet naughty or nice?

If there is a time of the year that you allow yourself to relax and forget about strict diet and constant work-out trips to the gym, it’s the coming festive season. It’s when you are already winding down towards the end of the working year and gearing up for the holiday season. There are lots of parties to attend, fruit cakes to nibble and noche Buena leftovers to enjoy, along with the relaxing cool breeze.

Despite the festivities of the season, remember to limit the days when you are overeating to avoid over-indulgence. Here are some strategies to pacify your holiday fangs:

  1. Have a healthy snack before you go to a party or function. Filling foods such as sandwiches or a bowl of cereal is a good idea.
  2. More than usual when you arrive at a party, you tend to be thirsty and in response you drink the first drink fast. Quench your thirst with a glass of water instead of a high-calorie alcoholic or soft drink;
  3. Enjoy one or two small treats so you don’t feel deprived but don’t go back for third and fourth servings. If you overfill your plate, you are more likely to eat a much larger portion than usual, so go easy!
  4. Also, take into account your feeling of fullness. Don’t keep nibbling just because food is there. Position yourself away from the buffet table. This will prevent you from grabbing small servings every now and then.
  5. Lastly, if you are the host, encourage guests to take home leftovers so you are not tempted to over-indulge the following day.


Finally, in order to keep you in Santa’s “nice” list, here are some tips on how to effortlessly burn few calories this season while having fun:

  1. Go Christmas shopping!  Walking around in a large mall or shopping center makes for great activity and fun. You just can’t get a better activity combination!
  2. Do the old standard. Park your vehicle a few meters from the building and walk. Yes, it’s an old tip but still one of the best. Use the stairs instead of the elevators and escalators.
  3. Wrap those packages!  And once yours are all bundled up, volunteer to wrap some more.
  4. Bake some home-made holiday bread. It’s a great exercise due to the kneading of the bread and a great personalized gift, too!
  5. Grab some friends and go caroling. A brisk walk along the neighborhood gives you and your friends a great workout.

The festive season is upon us once again, and for most of us, this means excessive amounts of eating, drinking and missing daily exercise routines. These are easy tips to remember that can be summed up in four words: variety, moderation, balance and activity. Eat a variety of food and balance it with correct portions from each of the food groups. Just eat enough, not in excess or lack. By keeping these tips in mind, you will be sure to have a merrier holiday season.

For more information on food and nutrition, contact:  Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, Director, Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science and Technology, General Santos Avenue, Bicutan, Taguig City; Tel/Fax Num:  8372934 and 8373164; email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; FNRI-DOST website:


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