The Christmas holidays bring anyone to their senses. The endless menus and the gastronomic excesses characterize this period of the year of which some and some leave with a couple of pounds of more. The first thing is to face Christmas calmly and enjoy. And, second, it is not to try to compensate the excesses of erroneous and little healthful way.

It is not necessary to fast to maintain a healthier diet nor is it demonstrated that fasting achieves better results when it comes to losing weight than other nutritional strategies. Before considering applying this nutritional mechanism, it must be understood that prolonged fasting (for days) can produce ketosis, a pathological condition that is produced by the use of body fat as a main energy source. Under conditions of daily intake, the main source of energy is carbohydrates followed by a lower proportion of fat.

The safest fasting is the one that restricts solid foods, but not liquids (water, infusions or broths) and the period between intakes is less than 24 hours. This means that one eats every day, but there is a 12-hour window (this type of fasting is the most traditional) in which one does not eat.

Even so, most people respond much better to an orderly caloric intake, rich in fruits and vegetables and without restriction from any food group (rich in carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats). Therefore, at the time of following a pattern like the intermittent fasting we must find ourselves comfortable with this technique and implement it in a simple way, like for example, leaving the 12 hour window between dinner and breakfast taking advantage of the hours of sleep.

Using intermittent fasting as a mechanism to compensate for Christmas excesses does not work. If a person is used to making 3 main meals and 1 or 2 snacks, restricting the intake on time will produce more hunger and anxiety the next day.

The anxiety that can generate the sensation of hunger when trying to compensate a binge or a more copious food will cause a more disordered ingestion the following day and will increase the risk of eating at untimely hours. In addition, the sensation of lack of control on the food and the sensation of hunger can cause feelings of guilt and to harness the anxiety in the relation with foods.

Fruit between meals prevents starting the main meals with a lot of hunger and it is advisable to start the menus with vegetables: skewers of tomatoes and mozzarella, salads or vegetables as accompaniments to the main dishes (Brussels sprouts, carrots, onions, shallots, mushrooms…) are some of the ideas that this nutritionist throws at us.

It is also important to try to moderate the intake (not because it is the Christmas meal we have to see who stuffs himself more) instead of looking for compensation mechanisms later on. Another way of approaching the Christmas period is to think that the days of celebration are few, so the rest of the week should follow the usual customs and balanced meals.

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