The Atasagon team wish you balanced holidays!

December comes with parties, festive meals, reunions with lots of joy, but also lots of fatigue. So much is happening fast that we forget to take care of our health.

Did you know that…

 Every year, hundreds of people need medical help from the first day of Christmas? By the end of each year, ethmo-traumatic and toxic pathology has balanced and even outnumbered digestive pathology in number and severity. The most common cases were in patients presenting to the emergency department with biliary colic, gastritis, crisis ulcers, pancreatitis and digestive haemorrhages requiring urgent clinical, imaging and biological assessment, some, requiring emergency therapy.  

Family meals, especially at the holidays, are a source of joy and an ideal opportunity to (re)connect with loved ones. Prove that you take care of your own health without shame by avoiding excess. 

People with chronic digestive (ulcers, gastritis, pancreatitis, cirrhosis, cholecystitis), cardiac (hypertension, ischaemic heart disease, heart failure) or metabolic (diabetes, gout) conditions should pay more attention. For these people, it is also necessary to follow a healthy diet during this period!

Here are some useful tips you can follow over the holidays:

1. Moderation is the key!

Moderation should be your personal guide during the holidays. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying an indulgent, festive dinner, but make sure the meals around it are healthy and nutrient-rich. 

Remember, moderation, not strictness, is the best way to keep your weight in check for the long haul, so you can enjoy the occasional culinary indulgence without feeling guilty.

Before the Christmas meal, breakfast and lunch that day should contain moderate amounts of food.

It’s worth mentioning that snacking between meals should also be eliminated so as not to overload the digestive system.

2. Eat…slowly!

Calculate your food intake wisely and be picky in your food choices!  After finishing the first meal, take a 10-minute break. Chat with loved ones or hydrate, then check your appetite. You may realize that you’re already full or that you only want half a serving of the next meal.

Try not to rush when you eat, as it takes about 20 minutes for signals from your brain to let your body know that satiety has set in.  Choose your vegetables first and, last but not least, don’t feel obliged to eat everything.

There should be breaks between meals so that the stomach can digest at its own pace.

The standard Romanian diet is based on an increased consumption of animal products, and during the winter holidays there will be plenty of these products on our tables. Therefore, for proper digestion it is recommended to combine traditional Romanian products with vegetables and salads. It is preferable to start by eating vegetables and salad first, then meat and meat derivatives. Examples of antioxidant-rich products that can be included in the holiday diet include rucola, broccoli, rapini, Brussels sprouts, cabbage (all varieties), cauliflower, horseradish, kale, turnip greens, radishes, turnips. 

3. Don’t skip meals expecting a copious dinner!

If you’re skipping breakfast and lunch with the idea that a large dinner will follow anyway, you should know that’s not a good strategy at all. This causes your blood sugar levels to go out of whack, makes you feel tired, lacking in energy and your mood to change.

4. Use a smaller plate!

A very simple trick to help you avoid eating too much food is to use a smaller plate. It’s a trick that “tricksʺ your mind that the portion you eat is bigger, plus it helps you limit the amount of food you eat because you’ll be less tempted to fill your plate more than once.

5. Watch out about your alcohol consumption!

Alcoholic beverages are usually present at such events.

A glass of prosecco or champagne brings about 70-100 calories, while wine, beer and spirits range from 150 to 225 calories per serving. If you drink alcohol, consume a glass of water between drinks and avoid drinking on an empty stomach. 

No doubt there are plenty of occasions when you can have a drink with friends or family, especially around the holidays. Excessive drinking, even occasionally, can be very harmful to your health, and the effects are not limited to ‘a hangover’. Don’t forget to drink enough water, stay hydrated (alcohol dehydrates the body a lot) and avoid drinks with a high sugar content (especially mixed drinks and cocktails).

6. Hydrate!

 During this busy period you can easily forget to drink water because the brain can sometimes mistake thirst for hunger. A big glass of water before a meal can help reduce the amount of food you eat. Try to drink six to eight glasses of water a day and make sure you drink two large glasses of water before main meals.

7. Don’t forget to exercise!

If you don’t want to put on extra pounds due to increased food consumption and lack of activity, walking should be included in your holiday schedule. In addition to the physical benefits, it also helps you emotionally to cope with holiday stress. Moreover, walking will also keep you away from those tempting snacks on the kitchen table. 

Remember that this season is about celebrating and connecting with the loved ones in your life. When you focus more on fun and quality time, it’s easier to take your mind off food.

Make the most of the time you have and get as much exercise as you can.

Physical activities you can do with family or friends. Whether it’s a long walk to admire the holiday decorations, short hikes, winter sports or all sorts of fun activities that will help you burn off calories and have more energy. As well as the health benefits, movement can help you relieve stress and forget about everyday worries.

8. Don’t skip your sleep schedule!

Another challenge when it comes to spending the winter holidays with loved ones is keeping to your sleep schedule. We remind you that irregular sleep leads to fatigue, poor eating habits, sweet cravings and daytime sleepiness. Stick to your sleep schedule and take advantage of the end-of-year holiday to rest and recharge your batteries.

Take care of yourself with…Atasagon! For any tips or relaxing days don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!

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