We all do excesses during the festive season. To the Christmas and New Year’s many dinners, lunches, and brunches, we have to add the bubbly and wine here and there. Ups! And let’s not forget the Christmas sweets and cakes! Now it is when most diets start.
We receive January normally with some remorse to our extra sweets that translated into extra kilos. It is not a surprise that joining the gym is one of the most popular New Year´s resolution.
We all want to enjoy but also be fit and look great. We ask Dr Dana Al-Hamwi what is the best after -Christmas diet to shed the extra kilos and still be energetic.
Dr Dana Al-Hamwi, is a Medical doctor and a clinical Dietician. She received her Master’s degree specializing in Human Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Sheffield in the UK. She has a reputation for results in a short time, and because that is what we all want, we went straight into the interview.
THE INTERVIEW: Dr Dana Al-Hamwi
Hi Dr Dana,
Do diets really work?
Well when we say diet, we should differentiate between two types of diets. The fad unhealthy diets that might lead to a temporary unstable weight loss but not in a healthy way, and the healthy lifestyle that includes a healthy low calorie diet designed in a way that it covers all our bodies’ needs in addition to a daily physical activity.
The best thing in the healthy diet, in addition to the fact that it leads to healthy gradual weight loss, is that you can maintain your weight after losing the extra kilos.
What kind of diet do you recommend us to shed all the kilos from the Christmas and New Year’s festivities?
Low calorie healthy diet designed according to your bodies’ needs, your age, your health status, etc. It will take into consideration your physical activity level and your food preferences too.
What is the difference between a normal diet and a detox diet?
To be honest with you I’m against these detox diet that people are promoting. They are far away from being healthy.
Normal healthy weight loss diet should contain foods from all food groups. They should be designed in a way that provides our body with its requirements from all nutrients and at the same time leads to a healthy weight loss.
Are we realistic when it comes to how many kilos we intend to lose? Is there any formula we should follow?
Everybody wants magic and everybody wants to lose all the extra weight as quickly as possible but this is not realistic. The healthy weight loss is from 0.5 kg up to 1.5 kg per week.
So, we should be careful and avoid any diet that promotes a quick weight loss as it won’t be a healthy diet and it might even affect our health negatively leading to many nutrients deficiencies.
Is it true that it is better to eat more often and less amount or should we stick to 3 meals?
When we eat three main meals and two healthy snacks we will lose weight faster as it will help to boost our body metabolism.
So, the most important point is to avoid skipping main meals especially breakfast.
THE SUPER TIPS
What can we do to stop or avoid the cravings?
We can stick to these healthy tips:
- Have a healthy breakfast everyday.
- Add cinnamon to your diet as it helps in controlling blood sugar levels and hence helps in avoiding sugar cravings.
- Add dietary fibres to your daily diet (oats- fruits- vegetables, etc.)
- Drink enough water everyday.
- Don´t drink coffee on an empty stomach in the morning.
- Avoid juices- even fresh juices- and take whole fruits instead.
- Don´t eat simple carbohydrates and white bread.
- Avoid adding sugar to drinks.
- Try not to skip any of the three main meals.
Any particular recipe?
As I said before stay away of the detox or miracle diets. Don’t try to survive on only juices for even a couple of days as it might be dangerous and affect your health negatively. We can help in the detox process and getting rid of our body toxins through these healthy directions:
- Start your day everyday with a tablespoon of olive oil then a glass of warm water with slice of lemon.
- Avoid processed food, alcohol and cigarettes.
- Increase fruits and vegetables consumption.
- Drink green tea and herbal teas everyday.
- Reduce salt in food and use spices and herbs instead.
- Avoid adding sugar and artificial sweeteners to drinks.
- Avoid soft drinks and junk food.
- Try to have fish at least 3 times per week.
- Try to eat organic eggs.
- Add legumes and nuts to your daily diet.
- Add flax ,chia and sesame seeds to your daily diet.
- Drink enough water everyday.