It’s the holidays – I’ll cheat just this once.
Except, what happens when “just that once” turns into an
entire season of indulging in all of the goodies and festivities?
On average, a typical American gains approximately one pound over the holiday season. Not a big deal, you may think. However, most people don’t lose that one pound after the holidays and in eﬀect, continue to gain an extra pound every year.
Could you imagine if your mid-life weight gain was due to just not losing the small weight you gained each holiday season?
This year, we want to share some tips and tricks to 1) ward oﬀ that weight gain and 2) help you get rid of it if you do decide to indulge a little extra!
This specific blog focuses on diet and eating over the holidays. Our next one will discuss how to work it all oﬀ.
Here are 5 tips for squelching the stress over holiday eating:
1. Be Mindful of Your Environment.
Think about how your environment may aﬀect your weight. There is nothing wrong with a big meal and a dessert, but it’s important to say “no” to those little extras that eventually creep up all around us.
Many times, we are unconsciously digesting these extras in places such as the oﬃce, a religious or community gathering, a school event, or even a white elephant get together. A donut here, a candy cane there, and that extra pump of mocha with whipped cream on that holiday drink can all add up quickly.
Be mindful of what your activities are for the day and plan out what you will eat. If you know that the oﬃce will have pastries and hot chocolate for your morning meeting, make sure to eat plenty of protein and vegetables before arriving and limit yourself to enjoy just one or two bites.
If you’re the kind that can’t stop at one or two bites, skip it all together and bring your own snack!
2. Dine Out Consciously.
Yes, you can dine out! But no, you don’t need to overdo it.
At the holidays, it’s a given that many of us will eat out a little more than usual. Whether it’s an end-of-the-year thank you at work or a holiday gift exchange with friends, restaurants allow us to relax and revel in the company of each other.
However, for some of us it can be stressful! You’re doing so much and are so tired, what’s so bad about ordering some comfort food?
Nothing. As long as it’s done in moderation.
We love splitting entrees that carry extra calories. By ordering a salad and then splitting the main entree with someone else, you can keep your intake consistent without having to eliminate something else in your diet.
3. Have a Plan to Deal with Guilt & Stick to It.
That extra piece of pumpkin pie? The flavored latte? The heaping helping of mashed potatoes? Yep, you may feel a little guilt.
And we find that there are typically three ways you can go about dealing with it:
Our recommendation? Options two and three can be healthy for both your mind and body and have long-lasting eﬀects.
4. Try Intermittent Fasting.
If you decide to over indulge with food or drinks this season, intermittent fasting can help you get back on track.
Intermittent fasting is a good way to give your body a break from excess sugar and carbs. Metabolic changes can happen such as:
– increasing insulin sensitivity (to help the body manage blood sugar better)
– gives metabolism a break to burn oﬀ extra sugar and glycogen
– starting out with 12 hour fasts (for example: 6pm – 6am)
– increasing up to 16 hour fasts (for example: 6pm to 10am)
– fasting in moderation (about 1-2 days per week)
This type of fasting can be helpful in detoxing and refreshing your system. Remember it the next time you drink too much champagne or go overboard on the dessert.
5. Gain Perspective & Know Your Mantra.
Does it feel like you just don’t have the “willpower” to say no to all those goodies? This can be a misunderstood concept. It’s not about completely restricting – that can actually make things worse.
Willpower is really about managing energy and resources to stay balanced, centered, and grounded.
Yes, this takes practice. You have to be cognizant of what drains you and what gives you energy.
Take a few minutes and think about that. What can keep you grounded this holiday season in regard to food and beverages. Keep it as your mantra and feel less guilt.
This year, take a little time to be mindful of when, where, and what can not only drain you and the nutrients you need as well as what can help nourish your mind and body without restricting the yummy pleasures of the season.
If you find yourself in need of staying on track, curbing your cravings, and/or cleansing your system and you live in Castle Rock, Castle Pines, Centennial, Highlands Ranch, Lone Tree, Parker, Larkspur, Monument, Colorado Springs, or the Greater Denver Metro area, please contact our oﬃces at (303) 688-6698 or click here to schedule a complimentary 15 minute phone consultation with Dr. Graves to discuss additional options to keep you healthy and guilt-
Keep the holidays sweet – without all the guilt!