Healthy Living

Safe practices you can adopt during the festive season

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By Dear Jeannne

Posted  Monday, December 30  2013 at  02:00

Escaping the eating that comes with the festive season is difficult. And because of the plenty of foods and drinks that make-up this period, many people may not stick to a healthy diet, indulging in almost everything they come across.
Dr Richard Muhumuza, a nutritionist at International Hospital Kampala, explains that people who already have pre-existing health conditions that require them to follow a strict diet should stick to what they have been eating everyday.

However, he says even for those without any health conditions, avoiding certain habits, while embracing some good ones can help them keep healthy and avoid developing ailments. Here are some tips to follow during this festive period that can keep you safe.

Avoid alcohol
Over consumption of alcohol affects the liver and kidneys, and this can subsequently lead to illness or death. Therefore, try as much as possible to desist from over consuming alcohol, especially if you do so without having a proper meal.
Drink water
Water is one way to stay hydrated, the reason it is recommended that a person should drink at least eight glasses each day. But even if you cannot drink up to eight glasses, you should still ensure that you drink plenty of water whenever you feel thirsty.
If you are exercising, consuming alcohol, coffee or tea, your water intake should to be increased.

Eating smaller portions of food
Because of the merry-making that comes with the festive season, many people end up indulging in a lot of eating. Muhumuza says it is recommended that people eat smaller portions of food spread across the day, but also, they should remember to chew the food well for easy digestion.

According to Muhumuza, bitter foods and herbs are a great way to stimulate the digestive system, enabling it to cope with the onslaught of festive foods. Eating foods that are rich in fibre such as vegetables will also help to ease digestion.
Instead of eating snacks, a person can indulge in fruits and salads whenever they feel hungry.
Avoid a buffet setting as it is more tempting to increase the consumption capacity.

Keeping up an exercise routine can be challenging over the holiday season. A simple walk around your neighborhood is much better than sitting all day at home watching television. You can also engage in house chores to keep you busy.

Late nights are a common feature during the festive period. It is advisable to get as much sleep as possible.

Indulge less
Find ways to reduce fat, sugar, or calories in your favourite treats and snacks.
Muhumuza says eating less starchy foods such as rice, matooke or cassava is advisable.