Making Healthy Holiday Choices a Priority This Season

Making Healthy Holiday Choices a Priority This Season

Mindfulness, careful choices and advanced planning add up to a happy, healthy holiday.

With the holiday season upon us, the question becomes, “how do you indulge in the fun and festivities and still look and feel your best?” Many of us associate food and drink with fun, happiness and love. When you eat high sugar or large portions, your body floods with insulin, a chemical your body releases to break down your food. That insulin can give you a kind of warm, cozy feeling and a natural high that you associate with good times; until you feel bloated and gross and can’t do your pants up! So, here are some tips for not only staying on track, but setting yourself up to crush your goals in the New Year!

Saving Your Calories for One Big Meal

Making Healthy Holiday Choices a Priority This Season

Problem

The biggest mistake people make is NOT eating before an event, or in anticipation of eating a big meal later in the day.

Every time you eat, you stimulate your digestive system to work harder. Not eating slows your digestive system, which can leave you feeling super bloated by the time you do eat and make you more likely to overeat.

The Solution

Starting your day with high protein foods like eggs, high-protein cereal or yogurt with added hemp hearts will get your body burning 70 per cent more calories from the get go. If you end up eating a bigger meal for breakfast or lunch, make sure you continue to eat small snacks like veggies, nuts and seeds every few hours after to keep things moving.

Also, increase your water intake. Dehydration can have you craving sugar and carbs, leading to overeating when what you really need is water. Water also helps to process foods in and out, which is key when the foods this time of year tend to be higher in sugar, salt and fat.

Indulging in Spirits, Wine and Beer

Making Healthy Holiday Choices a Priority This Season

Problem

People tend to drink more over the holidays, which can lead to extra calories and feeling slow and sluggish the next day.

The Solution

Drinking alcohol can slow your digestive system, preventing your body from breaking down the food you eat, which can lead to your body storing your food as fat to be worried about later. If you are eating while you drink alcohol, stick to lean proteins and veggies and avoid any heavy carbs like breads and pastas. You can have fat and protein—like cheese—which will help neutralize the sugar in your alcohol.

As for the alcohol itself, it’s all about how quickly it breaks down to sugar in the body. Choose red wine over white and avoid pop and juice mixers with spirits. Choose lagers and ales over light beer, which may have less calories, but those calories turn to sugar faster when you drink them.

Overindulging

Making Healthy Holiday Choices a Priority This Season

Problem

Overindulging here and there can quickly add up to extra pounds, but people don’t realize it’s harder than you think to make fat. You can’t make a pound of fat overnight or even over a weekend. Any weight you did gain from that big meal is simply a backlog of food, or the effects of too much sugar or salt.

The Solution

After overindulging, make sure to get back to your regular eating routine the next day. Adding some extra salad greens for roughage and increasing water will allow your body to detox and get rid of any backlog or excess food. Keeping your digestive system on track is key for looking and feeling your best. Adding in a probiotic is an easy way to help with digestion, offset the effects of alcohol, and boost your immune system during this busy time.

Stress Cravings

Problem

Holidays are fun but stressful and tiring, which can leave you seeking quick fixes in the form of sugar or caffeine.

The Solution

Keep up with your regular routine as much as possible. This includes taking your supplements. Along with a probiotic for digestion, I suggest adding an Omega 3 or 3-6-9 combo to increase energy and take the edge off cravings.

Get some exercise or maintain your exercise routine. It’s not easy when life gets busy but using your energy will help create more energy and offset stress. Taking the stairs, parking further away and getting out for a few walks can help you stay on track and helps burn off any excess calories you may have consumed.

Focus on Fun, Friends and Making Smart Choices

Making Healthy Holiday Choices a Priority This Season

Problem

It’s easy to get caught up in the fun and festivities and overindulge. You don’t want to miss out, but, before you know it, you start to feel the effects.

The Solution

Try to focus on the fun and the company instead of the food. You will have a better time if you feel good and not so stuffed you can’t breathe. Remind yourself that making good choices and staying on track isn’t a punishment and that you always feel better when you make choices that make you feel good. Remember, weight loss is less about the food itself, and more about the issues and associations you have attached to food over the years. The holidays can be the perfect time to create new habits and associations

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About the Author

Gina Livy

Gina Livy

Gina has been helping people lose weight over 25 years. She understands the struggle to lose weight, because she once weighed over 220 pounds herself. After having lost the weight the first time, she repeated the process 4 more times after the birth of each of her children. Gina recognizes her gift and now focuses her […]

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