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More Fun Facts! Christmas Edition Day 19 (12-19)

Posted 3 years ago -

More Fun Facts! Christmas Edition Day 19 (12-19)

Silent Night, tighter clothes

With its vast and rich history, coupled with a culture that is as diverse as the number of islands in it, the Philippines never lacks for gastronomic delights. Nowhere is this truer, than at Christmastime, when food tends to be more plentiful no matter where one is.

With the seemingly unending parade of food, it can be a near impossible thing not to overindulge. With each get-together and celebration seeming to top the previous with its delectable selections, it is a tasty struggle to resist the temptation of just one more serving. Between Noche Buena, Christmas breakfast, lunch and dinner, office Christmas parties, edible presents, and Media Noche, it takes an insurmountable amount of effort not to gain weight.

In addition, people don’t often follow their normal routines during the holidays. With the cold weather dominating the months leading to Christmas, a lot of folks tend to watch more television / binge watch Netflix & YouTube videos, take more alcohol than usual, and sleep more than eight hours. And so their lifestyle choices and behaviors change – and eventually, so does their body weight.

According to the findings published in the New England Journal of Medicine, people’s weight begins to rise throughout October and November and peaks ten days after Christmas. While the change wasn’t as big as expected it was still quite significant: people gained an average of 1.3 pounds during the Christmas – New Year period.

The study, which was conducted by Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab as well as scientists in Finland and France, compiled and analyzed the year-round weight patterns of about 3,000 people in the United States, Japan, and Germany.

While these countries celebrate the holidays in a few different ways, the one thing that they all had in common was the increased intake of extravagant foodstuff.

In addition to Christmastime, the study also revealed that people’s weight also increased on certain holidays. In Germany, people also tended to packed on the pounds during Easter. In Japan, clothes tend to be a bit tighter during their New Year celebration and Golden Week (a week from the 29th of April to early May containing several Japanese holidays.

Fortunately, about half of the gained weight came off quickly after the holiday season concluded but the rest did not disappear until five months later.

So what’s one to do in order to minimize the effect of holiday meals and avoid notching another hole in the belt? Here are a few handy tips to keep in mind:

  1. Choose smaller plates
    • With the wide variety of food that is within easy access, it can be easy to forget not to overindulge. While it’s not wrong to enjoy all the food served during parties, it doesn’t necessarily mean that one has to eat full servings of each dish. Use a smaller plate than usual and take only enough food small enough to finish in a bite or two.
  2. Keep track of what you eat
    • Sometimes, overeating result from losing track (intentionally or otherwise) of the dishes one has sampled. As such, another smart way to prevent overindulgence is by manually keeping track of the dishes consumed. Whether it’s on a piece of napkin or via a smart phone app, regulating the amount of food consumed per day will be worth all the effort in the long run.
  3. Limit your alcoholic and sugary beverages
    • Another major source of excess sugar and calories are alcoholic drinks and sugary beverages, but both are a staple at Christmas gatherings. Alcoholic drinks are a major source of calories that the liver has to work extra hard to process. In addition, alcohol has the tendency to enhance appetite thus increasing food intake. Sweetened beverages are not only full of sugar but also create excessive sodium in the body, which causes water retention (putting a lot of stress on the kidneys and liver)
  4. Eat Slowly
    • The stomach can hold up to 48 ounces or roughly one liter of food but the feeling of being full is not caused by the stomach being actually full. This feeling is instead caused by chemicals released by the stomach to the brain after it processes food and beverage. This process takes roughly 20 minutes and usually lasts for five hours, after which the feeling of hunger returns. Be mindful of the 20-minute window when there is a high possibility of overeating. Eat patiently while savoring each bite.
  5. Squeeze in some physical activity
    • It is true that Christmastime in the Philippines is the best time to stay under the covers while binge watching Holiday Classics or the latest TV shows, but it is also equally important to keep the body active. Even the simple act of walking briskly can make a huge difference.

Ultimately, it’s fine to indulge oneself every once in a while, but doing so every day of the holidays may be a bit too much. As that old and (tad overused) adage goes: “Health is wealth”.

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