With the holidays coming up I’ve noticed that the sweets are creeping into my diet on a daily basis now. Obviously this is not helped by me baking Christmas cookies all weekend (literally ALL weekend, who knew you had to chill Gingerbread like 3 times?!?!?).
I therefore give you a quick holiday eating guide… Just a few tips that can help you resist the temptation to gorge yourself the entire holiday season.
First, don’t cut yourself off. I know, it sounds counterintuitive, but hear me out. The main thing that I have learned while counseling people on healthful eating or nutrition is that if you completely cut yourself off from things that you crave, you’ll eventually cave and usually people go crazy at this point. You may be one of those people that have the self-control of a Navy Seal. However, I can honestly say that I have never seen someone sustain a long-term ………… Obviously, giving yourself a free 24/7 hall pass isn’t the wisest decision, but allowing yourself small bits of fun is definitely a better choice.
Which brings us to the next bit of advice; addition is better than subtraction. Instead of looking at the holidays as a gauntlet of temptation, look at it as a chance to add new dietary variety. Try new fruits or veggies that you haven’t had. Have your meal on a bed of greens; basically this takes up space and has the added benefit of a nutrition boost. Have you tried quinoa or amaranth? Spice up your normal salad routine and try a new recipe. Add a serving of fruit, veg or protein; this will fill you up just that little bit more and could in turn, cause you to eat a bit less sugar.
Without interjecting too much of my opinion… Think twice before you Paleo. Here’s the truth with dieting. Any time you make drastic changes to your diet, chances are that you’ll see a change. The question becomes, are those changes healthy and long lasting? The best and longest lasting diets are those that offer gradual and long lasting change. Furthermore, if you want to feel full and satiated, you need grains. Point blank, grains make you feel full. Lastly, an unbelievable amount of studies are showing again and again the benefit of simple exercise. Stress hormones are a complicated web. Despite this complexity, exercise and stress management can definitely balance your stress hormones, leading to less sugar cravings, more energy, and better sleep. I can honestly say that exercise = happier holidays. In conclusion, these few tips are not only helpful hints, but a personal reminder for me. Hopefully we can all make it through these holidays feeling happier and healthier. HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO EVERYONE!!