The December diet: how to eat everything without gaining weight

The December diet: how to eat everything without gaining weight

Nutritional strategies for not giving up sweets and chocolate without jeopardizing the figure

December is the month in which, more than the other months of the year, we indulge in some extra food addiction. The market stalls are filled with delicious nuts and dried fruit, among the shelves peek out sweets typical of the Christmas gastronomic tradition such as pandoro and then chocolate of all kinds, wines and sparkling wines.

With these premises it is difficult to limit the accumulation of body weight and if it is true that, as the experts say, you do not get fat between Christmas and New Year but between New Year and Christmas, the cheats at the table could however give us a feeling of swollen stomach and some rolls more on the abdomen.

How to run for cover?

"With simple nutritional strategies that will allow you to keep blood sugar at normal levels to control the consequent production of insulin, the hunger hormone and the accumulation of body weight", explains Dr. Corrado Pierantoni, specialist in endocrinology and metabolic diseases and clinical nutritionist in Lanciano (Ch). "When the blood sugar rises too quickly because we may have eaten a slice of cake in the morning after the long night fast, when it was at its lowest level, it causes the pancreas to secrete insulin, which the liver uses to transform sugar in the blood into energy. This organ absorbs glucose and converts it into glycogen, storing it. Residual sugar that is not absorbed by liver cells or other organs, such as the heart and brain, or by muscles, is converted into fat stored in fat cells. That's why he gets fat ”.

The dessert after the meal

To avoid sudden increases in blood sugar, it is recommended to treat yourself to a sweet after a meal: on a full stomach, sugars are absorbed more slowly. Better still after a protein-based meal (such as meat, fish, eggs or cheese) so as not to introduce too many carbohydrates.

Vegetables at every meal

On the contrary, we should always include at least a portion of vegetables for lunch and dinner: their fibers, once reached the intestine, together with the naturally already present water, will create a sort of "gel" capable of controlling the glycemic response. Particularly useful are the bitter ones such as radicchio, rocket and endive which contain molecules that curb the feeling of hunger. “If you suffer from abdominal swelling – suggests the nutritionist – it is better to prefer soft and not too fibrous ones such as valerian, soncino, trocadero and rocket. Ok also to the sprouts, remembering to chew these vegetables well or to cut them into small pieces to promote gastric digestion and improve any intestinal bloating. Leafy and flowered vegetables can be eaten, but as long as they are passed through a vegetable mill, a tool that allows the fibers to be "broken".

Chocolate yes, but dark

Green light for a chunk of chocolate a day. "The dark one is at least 80% good", advises Dr. Corrado Pierantoni. The ideal dose? “20 grams per day to be consumed as an afternoon snack. In snacks, if you don't eat dessert, the menu includes an herbal tea to be sipped with seasonal fruit or with a portion of oleaginous fruit such as almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts or pine nuts ".

Wine, yes thank you

It is good, but as long as it does not exceed its consumption. "Half a glass for women and a glass for men can bring health benefits – explains the doctor – always preferring the red one, which is rich in precious resveratrol, an antioxidant that is friendly to the heart and the cardiovascular system".

Don't give up on movement

One last tip to enjoy the typical Christmas cuisine without getting fat is to do physical activity at least half an hour a day. "There is no need to exaggerate with excessive effort – concludes Pierantoni – a brisk walk in the open air is enough to keep the metabolism active, oxygenate the body and improve the state of health".

The menus of the week

MONDAY

BREAKFAST: 1 HD yogurt (lactose free); 1 slice of toast with 1 teaspoon of honey; 1 hot drink: green tea or coffee

MORNING SNACK: 1 cup of green tea; a pomegranate juice (or other seasonal fruit)

LUNCH: Valerian, apple and chopped walnut salad; 1 plate of pasta and chickpeas passed with a vegetable mill

AFTERNOON SNACK: 1 cup of green tea; 20 g of 80% dark chocolate

DINNER: Chicken nuggets with orange; fennel and celery salad; 1 slice of toasted wholemeal bread

AFTER DINNER: 1 herbal tea

TUESDAY

BREAKFAST: 1 glass of HD milk; 1 slice of toast with 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil; 1 hot drink: green tea or coffee

MORNING SNACK: 1 cup of green tea; 2 mandarin oranges

LUNCH: Julienne of raw artichokes dressed with oil, lemon, parsley and parmesan flakes; couscous with fish

AFTERNOON SNACK: 1 cup of green tea; 6 almonds

DINNER: Fried eggs on cabbage cream, garlic, oil and chilli pepper and stringy cheese; 1 slice of toasted wholemeal bread

AFTER DINNER: 1 herbal tea

WEDNESDAY

BREAKFAST: 1 glass of green tea; 50 g of bresaola; 1 slice of toast

MORNING SNACK: 1 cup of green tea; 1 pear

LUNCH: Fresh spinach salad with 1 teaspoon of pine nuts; 1 plate of lentils with rosemary croutons

AFTERNOON SNACK: 1 cup of green tea; 4 walnut kernels

DINNER: Valerian and bean sprouts salad; 1 slice of grilled tuna with crunchy toasted pistachios; 1 slice of toast; 1 dessert

AFTER DINNER: 1/4 of pineapple (or other seasonal fruit)

THURSDAY

BREAKFAST: 1 glass of almond milk (or HD milk); 1 slice of toast with 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil; 1 hot drink: green tea or coffee

MORNING SNACK: 1 orange juice

LUNCH: Rocket and pear salad; gnocchi with tomato and basil

AFTERNOON SNACK: 1 cup of green tea; 20 g of 80% dark chocolate

DINNER: Fennel salad; strips of beef with mushrooms; 1 slice of toasted wholemeal bread

AFTER DINNER: 1 herbal tea

FRIDAY

BREAKFAST: 1 low-fat yogurt (HD); 1 banana

MORNING SNACK: 1 cup of green tea; ¼ of pineapple

LUNCH: Julienne carrot salad with sprouts; Pasta Zucchini And Shrimps

AFTERNOON SNACK: 1 cup of green tea; 1 cup of blueberries

DINNER: Seafood salad; spinach sautéed with garlic, oil and chilli; 1 slice of toasted wholemeal bread

AFTER DINNER: 1 herbal tea

SATURDAY

BREAKFAST: 1 glass of oat milk; 1 slice of toasted wholemeal bread with 1 slice of lean raw ham

MORNING SNACK: 1 cup of green tea; 1 kiwi

LUNCH: Radicchio, apple and hazelnut salad; pumpkin risotto

AFTERNOON SNACK: 1 cup of green tea; 1 pear

DINNER: Polenta with stringy cheese; broccoli sautéed with oil, lemon juice and chilli

AFTER DINNER: 1 herbal tea

SUNDAY

BREAKFAST: 1 cup of green tea; 1 slice of naturally leavened toasted bread; 1 kiwi

MORNING SNACK: 1 cut of fruit

LUNCH: Celery and fennel salad; pasta and bean soup with tomato sauce

AFTERNOON SNACK: 1 cup of green tea; 20 g of 80% dark chocolate

DINNER: Trocadero salad; veal piccatine stewed in a pan with onions, potatoes and black olives; 1 dessert

AFTER DINNER: 1 herbal tea

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