SMART MOVES For most of us, keeping the scales from tipping too far over acceptable’ during the silly season is a concern. These tactics might help. Drink water half an hour before your meal Okay, the study (published in Obesity Journal) was a small one, and limited to obese people, but those who drank half a litre of water 30 minutes before each meal lost an average of 4,3kg. Worth doing anyway, we say. Keep count When you’re faced with an array of delicious snacks – especially when those laden trays keep coming past you – it’s easy to lose sight of just how much you’re nibbling. Don’t! Decide how many canapes you’re going to eat, and stop when you reach that limit. Eat protein first This idea is also based on a very small study – this time, on obese people with type 2 diabetes. (If you’re obese, your BMI is 30 or more.) When they ate protein, veg and fat ahead of carbs, they stayed full for longer and had better blood glucose levels. Drink ONE glass of wine with your dinner (preferably red) A small Israeli study on men and women aged 40 to 75 with controlled type 2 diabetes showed that those who had 150ml of wine with their meals had better glycaemic control. And the red wine drinkers also had better levels of HDL cholesterol.
In response to these results, Dr James O’Keefe, chief of preventive cardiology at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute, told Time about his own findings: If you have a glass of red wine with your evening meal tonight, your peak blood sugar, if measured an hour later, would be about 30% lower than if you hadn’t had the wine.’ Walkabout We loved this suggestion from WebMD: make a tradition of going for a family walk, either before or after a meal.
Harvard Medical School researchers looked at 32 obesity-promoting genes in 12000 people. In those who walked briskly for an hour a day, the effects of those genes were halved! HMS also mentioned a University of Exeter study that found that a 15-minute walk can curb chocolate cravings. Eat in whenever you can Of course you need a break from cooking day in, day out. And with the year-end bonus (we hope you got), you have the freedom to eat out more than usual. But when you eat out, you lose some control over the integrity of the ingredients. Instead, invite friends on the same food/budget wagon (or bantwagon?) over for a bring-and-braai or a potluck dinner. And when you do cook up a meal, double the portion and freeze the other half for another day.