COLUMN-10 dos and don’ts this Xmas 

Health-Today-blockChristmas Day is inching closer, and most of us can’t wait for that special time with all its goodies –– food, family, friends and fun. It’s the time of year to enjoy yourself and indulge a little; but you want to make sure you don’t overdo and have to pay a heavy
price later.

Fitness expert and International Federation Of Body Building And Fitness (IFBB) pro Ramon “Doddy” Dodson shares his ten dos and don’ts for the season with Health Today to help you enjoy all the festivities without packing on the pounds.

Ramon “Doddy” Dodson
Ramon “Doddy” Dodson

“I am not in anyway an extremist. I believe that we should treat ourselves for special occasions; so I am not going to be one of those persons who will necessarily advocate that if you are trying to keep yourself in shape that you take strict dieting through the holiday period; or you don’t enjoy your birthday; or you don’t enjoy your anniversary.

“I believe there are times you should treat yourself. At the same time, you don’t want to go overboard. You should try to maintain some level of balance.

“My ten dos and don’ts revolve around control, because for the most part it is all about maintaining that health and balance.”

  1. Don’t drink soda, especially if you can avoid it. If you are going to drink alcoholic beverages and so on, try to chase with maybe Soda Water. The main reason we say avoid sodas is because of the excess sugar, the dye –– these things are not good for your general health and well-being.

Do replace sodas with juice, water, or tea.

  2. Don’t consume refined carbohydrates, processed foods. These are things that you should generally be concerned with year-round, but they tend to creep into our diets a little more during the festive period. So stay away from them.

Do consume natural foods and whole foods where possible.

  3. Don’t use foods that are excessively high in sugar, especially sweet treats and delicacies that you would have for dessert time. But again, if you do, have it in small amounts.

Do treat yourself to a fruit salad, a fruit cocktail or a fruit blend –– and not ice cream.

  4. Don’t! No fast food. Barbados is plagued by diabetes and also hypertension and obesity, and it is good to stay away from foods that are high in transfat and sodium. Those are the two major culprits when it comes to fast food.

Do take this opportunity to spend time with family and prepare your own food. It doesn’t always have to be something elaborate. It can be something quick as well, but at least you have control over what you
are eating.

  5. Don’t abuse alcohol.

Do have a glass of red wine, for example, or one of the lower calorie spirits. We have this saying in the fitness industry that if it is clear, it is better off than dark. So you can take vodka over whisky and stuff like that.

  6. Don’t abuse ham. Beware of the sodium content. So maybe a little bit here and there; but don’t overdo it.

Do consider using more turkey which is another holiday protein that we have grown accustomed to. Let turkey be the lion share on your plate, and eat less ham.

  7. Don’t overkill your vegetables. We love to cook our vegetables, but we end up killing a lot of the beneficial nutrients when we cook them too long.

Do try to consume the vegetable raw where possible, or cook them for a very short time. Blanche them; but don’t overcook
them at all.

  8. Don’t abuse dressing and sauces. They usually have excess sugar, transfat and chemicals which you can’t
even pronounce.

Do use flavour enhancers that you have more control over. So I like to incorporate things like ginger, red wine vinegar, lime. Any herbs and spices will give you lots of flavour.

  9. Don’t eat until you are uncomfortably full. That is something that we like to do during the holidays. It’s almost as if we’re trying to compete with ourselves to see how stuffed we can get –– especially men.

Do manage your portions. It is much better to have moderately sized, regular meals than to suffer yourself in one sitting. This will do a whole lot for your metabolism, and it would also allow your body to assimilate the caloric intake much better.

10. Don’t let the holiday debaucheries extend pass that period.

Do make a decision that you are going to enjoy the festive season and free up a little, but also make a conscious decision that when the holiday season ends, you get back on the grind; you approach the coming year with a sense of awareness and health consciousness!

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