The Holidays are here! They are going to be great this year- because you will know how manage your appetites! And of course that’s the first step, to speak out the positive and to believe that it is possible! After all, they say, that out of everyone around us, we believe what we say the most. So, Lets step into this journey of speaking with great expectation! As embarking on any journey like this, perfection IS NOT the goal, but progress is a great goal. Even the fact that you are contemplating to maintain a healthy perspective on your intake of food is absolutely tremendous and the marker of continued success is to celebrate every victory, no matter how seemingly small!
Let’s jump right in!
How can I maintain a healthy weight during at holiday gathers, parties, or even having extra junk food in the house during the holidays?
So, these are some suggestions that you might want to consider.
1. During the holiday season a good goal is to get plenty of sleep/rest, which can help you say NO to all the extra snacks in your fridge and pantry. This may seem like an oxymoron because this can be such a busy time, however, make it a priority. . Prior to your family/friend gathering-the night before GET PLENTY OF SLEEP! Sleep deprivation can be the culprit to giving into cravings, and eating with your eyes, aka overeating!
2. DO not fast until the party meal. I am a huge proponent of intermittent fasting, however, fasting until the holiday feast can be a huge reason that you could fall into overeating. Overeating is a huge stress on the liver which causes an increase in toxins throughout the bloodstream creating fatigue and physical discomfort in the stomach and leads to blood sugar management issues. So in preparation for your holiday gatherings don’t skip any meals before you arrive.
3. Keep an eye on your portion sizes. Sometimes just having a few bites of a yummy treats can be just what enough to satisfy whatever your longing is. So piling the food on your serving plate may not be the best idea. Consider a few small slices/pieces/spoonful’s of those tasty starchy/carbs and/ or sweet dishes.
4. During the busy holiday season, plan for extra busyness, but also plan for extra joy. How do you plan for joy, well create opportunities that you know will help you to experience joy. Be it in indulging in your creative juices daily, increasing your outdoor activity, taking more opportunities to make family memories, spend extra time with good friends, involving yourself in an enjoyable hobby, or even just to watch your favorite movies, and or eat your favorite healthy meals. It is not insignificant at all to recognize that we need balance in our lives. When the stress levels increase, why not intentionally increase our joy? Endorphins are scientifically known for a number of benefits, chemically even triggering feelings that would equate to being on morphine. They are known for alleviating depression, reducing stress and anxiety, boosting our self-image, reducing physical pain, and even reducing our weight. So all the more reason to go gung Ho on the JOY.
5. Chew your food well. I’m sure you have heard this colloquialism before, maybe even from your loved ones…but it’s so true! And of course, this is always important, but if you can remember to do it around the holidays, your body with thank you. Science tells us that when we chew our food well there are important digestive enzymes and secretions that are activated in our mouth which help our food absorb well and help our body easily convert the food into energy. So, be prepared you we might be the only one in the room that doesn’t fall asleep after eating those holiday treatsJ
6. I recommend specifically planning out your meals prior to going… either it be your breakfast/ lunch or dinner that include, protein, good fat, and it’s always good to throw some fiber in there. Staying away from high sugar/refined carbs those days would be a smart idea. Also making sure that your hydration intake is very good before you arrive, remember ½ your body weight in ounces is the target. Also, when u arrive choose foods at the celebrations that have either protein or good fat to maintain a stable blood sugar along with your favorites.
7. Ramping up on your physical activity around this year is a great goal. Maybe ½ hr to an hour extra of riding, walking, running, or jumping or aerobic activity 3-4x wk etc. certainly will keep your white blood cell counts in good shape, not to mention your waste line. As we engage in movement/exercise this helps our body on so many levels. Just to highlight a few benefits: exercise causes us to shed those empty calories that we are eating/drinking; it helps our lymphatic system move toxins our of our body as our muscles contract; helps to decrease inflammation in our tissues by balancing our blood sugars/insulin levels; improves our emotion/mental health; reduces our blood pressure/cholesterol levels; the weight bearing strengthens your bones/muscles; improves your sleeping/REM states/ and even falling asleep and staying asleep throughout the night.
8. Its always nice learn to make some new healthy holiday meals, deserts or savory entrees that friends and family might enjoy. Take some time this season to take a risk with using replacements for gluten/grains, dairy, eggs, and sugar- you might love the change and just surprise yourself.
9. Find an accountability partner to help you when your NO needs some backbone. I often find so much value in bringing someone of like mindedness along side to stave off giving into the indulgences.
10. Shore up on some supplements during the holiday season. When you know in advance there are some foody celebrations, there is a multitude of ammunition out there to balance your blood sugar. Some effective insulin managers are: berberine, cinnamon, chromium, Alpha Lipoic Acid, fiber, magnesium, Ginseng, ; Some foods that aid in balancing sugars are: greens, broccoli sprouts, pumpkin seeds, nut butters, flax/chia seeds, beans/lentils, fermented foods, apple/coconut vinegars, kefirs, avocados. Incorporating some of these foods/supplements before/after your meals will greatly support your body’s metabolism/digestion to aid in keeping off the pounds.