Skip the santa belly

Manila Bulletin published December 9, 2014

2SantaChristmas is the season to be merry but how can one be truly merry after all the festivities when one’s belly is trying to mimic that of Santa’s?

It could get frustrating when you can no longer fit into your tight jeans or feel heavy and sluggish during the holidays right?

Wish you didn’t indulge yourself with those calorie-laden foods that are so irresistible? Too much sugar, fat, and excess calories from the food we eat coupled with physical inactivity will definitely make us gain weight in no time. As the saying goes, a moment on the lips, forever on the hips!

However, it’s not just about what and how much food you eat. There are other factors that could make you gain weight over the holidays.


• The number one culprit is being sedentary.

“Hey! This is the only chance I get to rest and do nothing but sleep and eat all day”, you say. Yeah, I feel you and believe me I want to do that, too. However, being on vacation is no reason for us not to move around and burn some calories. In fact, this is the best time to include at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week since you have a lot of time on your hands when you’re not out partying or entertaining guests at home. Be conscious about your physical activity by choosing a type of exercise that you enjoy doing, set a schedule and stick to it.


• The second santa belly buster secret is to keep yourself well hydrated.

Inadequate water intake will wreak havoc with your body’s metabolism therefore making you inefficient in burning calories. Drink one to two glasses of water upon waking up and before going to bed. Drink one glass of water or clear soup before every meal. Drink water all throughout the day. Do not wait until you get thirsty because that is a signal that your body is already dehydrated.



• More Zzzzz.

Quality sleep is often neglected during the holidays. When that happens, the balance between hormones that control our appetites and cravings go berserk. We tend to eat more to keep us awake which leads to excessive caloric intake and weight gain. Aim for at least seven hours of sleep. You can also take 15 to 30-minute power naps during the day. Keep this in mind: When one is asleep, one cannot eat. However, for some, oversleeping is the problem. It can make you feel more exhausted and sluggish. When that happens, you don’t have enough energy to exercise and may tend to eat more to try to get energy. Lack of sleep or too much of it can affect your eating pattern and weight.

Have a happy healthy holiday season!