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Keys to enjoying a healthy Christmas

Eternal meetings, excesses of food and drink, whims… Does that sound like you? We are talking about Christmas, a time when bad habits take center stage. We offer the keys to enjoying these holidays in a healthy way.

Keys to enjoying a healthy Christmas


Image provided by the European Medical Institute of Obesity (IMEO)

The Christmas they become the perfect setting to forget about those healthy habits that we struggle so much to follow. So keep some in mind healthy keys they can help us face Christmas successfully and without neglecting ourselves.

The main concern at this time is usually to put on a few extra pounds, but this is completely normal.

In fact, the European Institute of Obesity (IMEO) indicates that people who do not have a tendency to gain weight and who do not usually diet, may weigh one or two kilos more.

While those who do have overweight and obesity problems, “can easily gain between three and five kilos these days”, he points out Rubén Bravo, spokesperson for the Institute.

Christmas keys, nutrition

Learn how to prepare a Christmas menu without excesses!

One of the most important things during Christmas is the meals, so the experts at IMEO offer different ones ideas to set up ours christmas menu in the healthiest way possible, trying to leave out as much excess as possible:

  • We’ll start with some appetizers made with vegetables, seafood or meat:
    • Endive salad.
    • Cottage cheese and pomegranate.
    • Crudités with hummus or guacamole.
    • Artichoke chips.
  • To continue… in the main course we will use proteins accompanied by vegetables:
    • Tortilla stuffed with julienned vegetables.
    • Poularda roasted in rosemary on a bed of sweet potato, onion and baby carrots.
    • Ceviche of mussels and prawns with purple onion.
  • And for dessert… we’ll bet on a homemade one:
    • Seasonal fruit skewers with dark chocolate.
    • Glasses of natural yogurt with apple compote and cinnamon.
    • Almond truffles coated with pistachio crunch.

What about the effect of alcohol on sleep?

Without a doubt, alcohol is a bad ally at the Christmas parties, whether as an aperitif, to accompany the food or to toast it is always present on all tables.

The increase in social life during this period, translated mainly into lunches and dinners with family and friends, causes alcohol consumption to skyrocket considerably, even exceeding the limits delimited by the World Health Organization (WHO).

“Alcohol, in any form, represents a threat to health in general, it decreases the ability to respond to day-to-day tasks and prevents the body from renewing the necessary energies at night. In a certain way, alcohol acts as an anxiolytic and hypnotic, but it has a rebound effect”, explains the doctor Anjana López Delgado, clinical neurophysiologist and member of the insomnia working group of the Spanish Sleep Society (SES).

And the belief that alcohol improves rest is one erroneous mythas it influences the quality of sleep and causes a bad rest.

It also assumes that during the night we need to go to the bathroom more often, since, “although not all liquors have the same diuretic effect, in general, excessive intake forces us to go to the bathroom more often than normal”, he points out the expert

In addition, alcoholic beverages cause dehydration and, precisely, staying hydrated is particularly important during these dates, as pointed out by the same Water and Health Research Institute (IIAS)which warns that heating, colds and copious meals can put our hydration at risk during the Christmas period.

Christmas keys, hydration
Image provided by the Water and Health Research Institute (IIAS)

Say NO to a sedentary Christmas!

Following our keys to coping with Christmas in a healthy way, we can’t forget to devote a part of our time to exercise, crucial to getting through these festive days with health and success.

The doctor Carlos Marra-López, head of the Obesity Unit at Vithas Málaga Hospitalrecommend some advices that we must follow:

  • Before meals: planning.
  • On the table: self-control.
  • After lunch: maintain a regular physical exercise routine and avoid being sedentary after eating. It is advisable to take a walk after lunch or dinner.

Let’s not forget to enjoy

Despite everything, Christmas is a time to disconnect from the routine and connect with ourselves, so we also don’t have to burden ourselves and overload ourselves with more account responsibilities.

In this way, by paying attention to the aforementioned keys, we can enjoy a healthy Christmas and face this time of the year in the best possible way.

“The aim of these days would be to live and share the moment, without rushing and indulge in whims without feeling guilty. Allowing our body to release endorphins and generate smiles and pleasure”, she concludes IMEO psychologist, Ángela Fernández.

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