As far as I’m concerned, focusing on healthy food choices and avoiding overconsumption is something we should be doing all year-round, but it’s even more important during the holiday season when the sheer volume of parties and events can add up and the opportunities to indulge are constantly present! Here are 3 tips to help you this year:
If you are going to a party or dinner, don’t starve yourself all day in anticipation. Doing so will slow your metabolism, leave you ravenous and more likely to overeat later in the evening. Instead, eat small meals or snacks throughout the day and you’ll be less likely to overindulge when you are out.
If you are planning on consuming alcohol remember there is sugar and calories in every drink, and if you consume too many your judgement will surely be off. Good idea to make decision before you go out about how much you want eat. Be sure to increase your intake of water to compensate for the dehydrating effects of alcohol. Often we mistakenly believe that we are hungry when really what our bodies need is more fluid. Keep this in mind when you head for the table of food at your next event and try having a glass of water instead.
Consider a 12 hour overnight fast. The detox signal to your body to start cleaning internally is given approximately 8 hrs after your last meal and requires at least four hours to function well and finish the internal cleaning. If you fill up late at night and eat early the next day, you deny yourself the benefits of your body completing it’s natural detox mode, and so it’s better to do a little fast every night. If you think of the word ‘breakfast’ it means “break” “fast”, and eating your meals this way allows your body to work most effectively. The best part is that it’s easy to implement and remember! After you finish your dinner (or late night snacks at holiday cocktail parties) just plan to eat 12 hours later. For example, if you finish dinner at 6pm, the earliest time you can choose to eat something in the morning for breakfast would be 6am. If you have a day when you eat later, just push the time back. If you are out and eating those delicious hors d’oeuvres at 10pm…wait until 10am to have your breakfast the next day. After the last time you eat, no more solid foods, or snacks! Liquids such as water or herbal teas are ok, but nothing that has any calories because your body will then need to digest it.
Most of all, remember this: whatever you put into your mouth is always a choice! You CAN enjoy the holidays and all your favorite foods without overindulging and then needing to deal with added weight gain in January. Think about how you want to FEEL and make choices that line up with what you want. If you go back to last week’s post on setting an intention for the holidays that can help you make the right choices for you.