There’s one thing I don’t like about the holidays. Temptations greet me at every turn and it’s hard to say no. All the things I love to eat, but shouldn’t eat dance around me for almost a month. By the time the holidays are over, the pounds have somehow attached to my body and I don’t feel well. Why? My diet veered way out of balance. This tends to happen every year.
When I gain weight, my body simply doesn’t work as well. And then there’s the blood sugar problem. As my husband says, “You’re so sensitive to high carbs.” And I am. So here’s my plan not to let my diet get out of hand. These six tips help us all to enjoy all the festivities and food without going over the edge.
Limit your drinks to water, non-caffeinated drinks, and one cup of coffee.
Consider water to be your main drink of choice and a healing elixir. For warm drinks, consider caffeine free teas and coffee. If you love that cup of coffee in the morning, limit it to one cup. At night, opt for decaf coffee. Drinking a glass or two of water 30 minutes before a meal helps to curb your appetite. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19661958/
Sweeten your drinks with natural, non-calorie sweeteners.
Sweetening with a natural sweetener with little to no calories such as stevia or monk fruit, helps to satisfy your sweet tooth. In this way, you’re not adding calories to your waistline with what you drink.
Hang out by the fruit, vegetable and nut trays at parties.
When I first learned about good health with nutrition, my husband and I attended a festive event. “Look, there’s a table rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals,” I said. By filling up with these gifts of nature and fiber, I only had room left for a small piece of cake. You can do the same thing at a family meal.
Use intermittent fasting two to three days per week.
This means after you eat dinner at 6 pm, you don’t eat anything else until about 10 am to 12 noon the next day. Besides the heath benefits, this type of fasting promotes weight loss, control of appetite, balances blood sugar, and definitely saves time in the kitchen! (Not recommended for diabetics.) Absolutely don’t eat high carbs late at night before you go to bed.
Increase your exercise to burn extra calories.
If you normally walk three times a week for one mile a day, it would be wise to increase to five days and up your distance to two miles each day. Exercise helps to burn calories. And losing weight is all about calories and burning them through exercise. I must confess that neither Alton nor I gained weight on our cruise around Italy. Why? We ate sensibly and our cell phone app showed that we walked nearly 8 miles per day! It also helped that we took the stairs over the elevator.
Practice the 80/20 rule.
The holidays are meant to be enjoyed. Trying new recipes and eating your favorite goodies is a pleasure indeed. When at home, stress healthy eating (about 80 percent of the time). When attending party and family events, allow you self to splurge in moderation (the 20 percent).
It’s okay to eat an occasional treat. We don’t want to hurt Grandma’s feelings, right? My weaknesses are sugar cookies and cheesecake. I’ve even learned to make a white chocolate cheesecake and a banana cream pie with stevia. Your goal is to stay healthy and maintain your weight within Body Mass Index (BMI) ranges even during the holidays.
What other tips can you share?
For Your Health,