♫ Deck the halls with boughs of holly, Fa la la la la– la la la la!
That’s right, ‘Tis the season to be jolly.’ Soon we’ll be donning our gay apparel and heading to Grandma’s house (or other relative or friend) for holiday fun, songs, and gifts. And let us not forget Grandma’s table filled to the brim with a bountiful feast: pecan pie, honey-baked ham, sweet potato casserole with marshmallow topping and candy cane truffles – Yum-yum! It causes me to pause and think of all the fun, family, and friends of holidays past.
Sweet treats and rich meals can be landmines for health-conscious people. Yet, no one wants to feel deprived during the jolliest season of all. I confess, even as an expert in nutrition and metabolic medicine, I have a long history of letting the holidays get the better of me too.
Fear not – Read on. I promise, you’ll not be asked to lock yourself in a closet for the month or be made to eat a dinner of iceberg lettuce, Tofurky, and pureed cauliflower. There are more sensible and fun ways to navigate this territory and come out January 2nd even healthier.
- Nix the guilt. – Feeling guilty after eating foods you don’t usually allow yourself to eat can breed more unhealthy behaviors. So, abandon those negative voices in your head, give yourself permission to enjoy the indulgence , guilt-free, and then remember to get back on track with your normal eating routine the very next day.
- Three bites and good night. – Stick to the three-bite rule for desserts: The first bite is the best, the last the grand finale, and every bite in between is the same. In three bites, you get the full dessert experience, so really focus on savoring those three and you’re less likely to overindulge.
- Alternate your drink with sparkling water. – On average, most adults consume almost 100 calories a day from alcohol. Since avoiding them altogether may be hard during this time of merriment, alternating between an alcoholic beverage and a zero-calorie sparkler can help you avoid pouring on the pounds. Plus, sparkling water keeps things festive and, bonus, you’ll avoid entering the hangover zone, a not-so-happy holiday tradition side-effect.
- Stay physically active. – If you are not a gym or sports buff, make a holiday tradition of walks or bike rides around the neighborhood or park with friends and family (or your dog).
- Get enough rest. – Between holiday traveling, work schedules, and all that shopping, it can be easy to skimp on sleep in order to get your to-do-list done, but getting a consistent seven to nine hours of sleep every night helps regulate hormones, promotes recovery from workouts, and prevents daily fatigue. Plus, it keeps you from face-planting directly into your mom’s apple pie. There’s really no such thing as “catching up” on sleep, so the key is consistency.
To Your Good Health,
Dr. Dan Watts
Dr. Watts, MD, ND, MSNM and Helena Williams, ARNP, MSN are experts in Bio-identical Hormone Balancing and Weight Loss. With over 25 years experience in hormone balancing, a Board Certification in Integrative Medicine, a Post-doctoral Certification in Metabolic Endocrinology, and a Fellowship in Anti-Aging, Regenerative, and Functional Medicine, Dr. Watts has put together a Hormone Balancing and Weight Loss Program that has helped thousands of patients lose weight and keep it off!
If you have been dieting and exercising with little to no result or need some extra support with your weight loss and health goals, we recommend that you come see us! To schedule an appointment, ask questions, or get more information, you can call us at 941-926-4905 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.