December 2009 – Happy and Healthy Holidays!
Are you afraid of gaining some unwanted weight over the holidays? Do you want to know what you can do to lessen the load of the holiday season on your health? Well, in my opinion, the biggest problem during the holidays is the overconsumption of food. Therefore, I have written this article to help you prevent overeating and the unwanted weight (fat) gain that accompanies it.
Here are 5 tips to survive the holiday season:
1. Eat regularly!
You probably have heard the phrase “Don’t spoil your appetite” many times. Although mom or grandma mean well, they most likely do not understand how blood sugar functions in the body. If you wait too long in between meals your blood sugar levels will drop too low. Accompany this with the massive feasts we usually gorge on during the holidays and your blood sugar levels will resemble a roller coaster ride at Canada’s Wonderland. These significant drops and spikes in your blood sugar levels is a sure way to gain excess body fat. Therefore, make sure to spoil your appetite and eat regularly throughout the day so that you do not over-consume at the large feasts. Sorry Grandma!
2. Eat according to your Metabolic Type!
As many of you know, I strongly promote metabolic typing. When you know your unique metabolic type, you will know what foods your plate should contain. Furthermore, you will know exactly how many proteins, fats, and carbohydrates should be in your plate. This way of eating supports your metabolism in converting the food you eat into readily available energy instead of FAT. Remember, when you eat according to your metabolic type, you will get satisfied more quickly which reduces the chances of overeating.
3. Eat Certified Organic Food
This may be extremely difficult for some of you but today, organic food is becoming more and more popular. Certified organic foods contain fewer toxins as they are grown or raised without the use of harmful chemicals (pesticides, fungicides, etc.). This is important because toxins are very stressful to your body and what’s more is that they cause unwanted weight (fat) gain. Also, certified organic foods are more nutrient rich and as a result, they will satisfy your appetite more quickly than conventional foods. Remember, when you eat high-quality foods, the quantity of food you need to eat, to feel satisfied, decreases.
4. Drink Plenty of Clean Water
One symptom of dehydration is increased hunger. This occurs because the body hopes to get some water from the foods you eat. Drinking water regularly throughout the day will help keep your hunger levels down. When you choose to drink water over other beverages such as soda pop, juice, and alcohol, your blood sugar levels will be more stable. Remember, the more stable your blood sugars levels are, the more controlled your hunger levels will be.
5. Limit Your Vices
In life, we all have our vices that we need to control. During the holidays, it becomes increasingly difficult to do so as our vices are excessively available. Therefore, set reasonable limits on your vices. For example, promise yourself to have no more than 3-4 alcoholic beverages on party nights. I know this might sound too simple but it is better than having no limits at all. If your vice is desserts, then I suggest eating a little more protein and fats during your meals as this often decreases the craving for sweets.
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The holidays are a time to joyfully celebrate life, family and abundance. I wish you all a happy and healthy holiday season!
By: Sal Crispo
Vaughan Personal Trainer