Holidays and Healthy Living


When we think of holidays we typically think of food – or feasts to be more accurate.

But: we still need to think about the health implications of consistent poor choices.

Visceral fat is unhealthy body fat that’s stored around several vital organs including the liver, stomach, and intestines. It can also build up in the arteries.

Visceral fat is inflammatory, which causes tissue damage, narrows blood vessels and increases your risk for chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke and heart disease, not to mention degenerative brain diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

A bad diet will always have a consequence. Consumption of too many sugary, refined, carbohydrate dense and fatty foods can be as harmful as obvious obesity. 

A person who has an imbalance in body composition will have a higher fat to muscle ratio despite their outward appearance. Some people can appear slim on the outside, but if they don’t have a healthy fat to muscle ratio they are referred to as skinny fat or TOFI (thin on the outside, fat on the inside)

Some things to think about when making food choices, especially over the holidays.

  • Are you hungry? Sometimes we eat for the sake of eating
  • Choose your treats wisely
  • Don’t be tempted to overeat – save some and enjoy the leftovers later

What are healthy choices for holiday survival?

  • Eat as close to your usual mealtimes to keep your blood sugar steady. If meals are delayed, eat a small, healthy snack at your usual mealtime and eat a little less when the meal is served.
  • If you’re invited to a party offer to bring a healthy dish along.
  • If you have a sweet treat, cut back on other carbs, like potatoes and bread, during the meal.
  • Don’t skip meals to save up for a feast. It will be harder to manage your blood sugar, which will make you hungrier and thus likely to overeat.
  • If you slip up, get right back to healthy eating with your next meal.

Healthy snack include proteins, healthy fats and low carb fruits and veggies. 

Replace carb-heavy alternatives with protein and vegetable platters and replace crackers and breads with lower carb varieties


  • Enjoy small portions of treats
  • Exercise more, get creative, enjoy active family time
  • Get enough sleep
  • Have fun and enjoy social interaction

Wishing you a very happy and healthy festive season!

Listen to my interview with Brad Kirsten from Radio Cape Pulpit on 23 December 2021 to learn more. Listen to my next interview on Thursday at 7.45am