Throughout the holidays I work with my clients to maintain their weight, some still lose but the goal here is to maintain. I know they are going to indulge in a few treats, snacks and special drinks and honestly I want them to. The holiday season only comes once a year and some of the traditional holiday treats are only here once a year too. I do not want anyone missing out or feeling deprived at family gatherings or parties and I want them to be in the moment as much as they possibly can and keep away from the guilt trips.
I often tell my clients to go for the things that they love and leave the things that they like. If you are going to indulge make sure it’s worth it and make sure to thoroughly enjoy every bite, sip, texture, taste and smell. This is an indulgence not a binge.
This is the time of year when insulin levels can sky rocket, throwing your blood sugar levels all out of whack, causing you to store the food you eat as fat. Your focus should be on eating balanced meals while consuming low glycemic foods if you want to avoid the typical 5-7 pound weight gain that accompanies all of the yuletide cheer.
Here are some tips to help you maintain your health and weight loss goals throughout the holidays.
- Eat supper before you go out Even though you are planning on indulging at the party do not skip supper so you can indulge more. You can maybe skip your carb portion at your supper, but never arrive starving to an event. It is a guarantee that you will overeat on unhealthy foods. It has nothing to do with will power, you are hungry.
- Fill one plate and enjoy it Limit yourself to 1 small plate of food at the party. If you do not want to eat it all at once then set it aside and come back for it later. This plateful holds you back from mindlessly going back to the food table for more of your favourite never realizing how much you have consumed.
- Add a high fiber choice to breakfast. Choose steel cut oats instead of quick cooking or instant oats. They are higher in fiber and lower on the glycemic index. Research shows that adding a high fiber choice to breakfast helps to cut hunger and cravings over the rest of the day. Make a batch on the weekend and warm it up in the morning for a quick breakfast choice. A portion size is ½ cup cooked. Check out my Christmas baked oatmeal recipe at the end of this post!
- Avoid having a fruit by itself. Pair your serving of fruit with 1 tablespoon of raw nut butter or an ounce of cheese. When you add a protein or a fat with your fruit it helps to keep the glycemic index of the fruit down.
- If you drink alcohol then skip the starches. Pass on the rice, potatoes, bread and desserts. The alcohol counts as your carb for that meal since it digests as a carbohydrate. Also, drink a glass of water between each alcoholic drink, this will help you refrain from overindulging and avoid the morning headache!
- Eat supper before you go out. Even though you are planning on indulging at the party do not skip supper so you can indulge more. You can maybe skip your carb portion at your supper, but never arrive starving to an event. It is a guarantee that you will overeat on unhealthy foods. It has nothing to do with will power, you are hungry.
- Steer clear of fruit flavored yogurts. The yogurt isle is an overwhelming space. Stick to the basics. Low fat, plain yogurt or low fat Greek yogurt which is much higher in protein. If you need it flavored, add a little pure maple syrup, your own berries and vanilla extract.
- Add a salad to your Christmas dinner. Often holiday dinners can include mainly the starchier veggies, by adding a green salad to the meal will help you keep that half plate of vegetable rule and avoid you going back for that second and third helping of mashed potatoes!
- Bring something. Offer to bring a dish that you know is healthy and guilt free. Consider hummus or guacamole dip for veggies, yogurt dip for fruit or a trail mix, a bean or green salad. You are doing everyone a favour that will ease their guilt too.
- Keep your portions in check. Although these tips help to control blood sugar and insulin spikes they do not negate tracking your food choices to ensure that you take in the appropriate amount of calories to avoid packing on the pounds.
These are just a few tips to get you through the holiday season, but I do have more tips plus recipes in my Holiday Survival Guide Download it by clicking on the link and enjoy.
Baked Christmas Oatmeal
- 6-8 cooking apples
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup oats
- 1/3 c spelt flour
- 1/3 cup coconut oil or butter
- 2 Tbsp flax seeds, ground
- 1/3 cup maple syrup or honey
- cinnamon to taste
Preheat oven to 375F. Grease a 9×13 baking dish. Peel & slice apples and sprinkle with cinnamon.
In a small mixing bowl, combine oats, flax, maple syrup, oil or butter. Spread oat mixture over apples and bake for 40 minutes.
This recipes is so easy and also delicious with berries (2-3 cups or 1 bag frozen) rhubarb, blueberries, raspberries or pear. Enjoy!
Melanie Grime is a holistic nutritionist serving the Orangeville, Dufferin, Wellington and Caledon areas. Melanie Grime RHN treats everyone as an individual with their own specific needs and helps clients suffering from health issues by looking for the root cause of symptoms and working with them to reach their health and nutrition goals. She specializes in weight loss, hormonal issues, detox, nutritional consulting and family & kids nutrition.