There are healthy, balanced ways to maintain your weight during the holidays, and none of the ones below include crash dieting. We consulted our favorite nutritionist – Mikaela Reuben – who told us thirteen different ways you can maintain a balanced regimen during a time of year when eating and drinking is paramount…
Tips For Staying Balanced During The Holiday Season:
1. Apple Cider Vinegar: Everyday! When? In the morning or after your first meal. Why? It helps alkalinize your body especially after nights out drinking. It’s rich in acetic acid, which can help to lower the rise in glucose that occurs after eating which helps moderate our blood sugar and energy levels. Apple cider vinegar has also been shown to suppress fat storage in the body and aids in digestion by promoting the production of digestive enzymes!
2. Eat a handful of greens before each meal. Committing to a small plate of greens before each meal helps to add fiber and more raw enzymes into your diet – and will control how much you eat next because you begin to feel full more quickly! Eating fiber also helps to control blood glucose levels, so it does not yoyo if you are eating lots of simple carbohydrates and sugars. Top the greens with a squeeze of lemon, a little olive oil, sea salt, and some hemp hearts. Hemp hearts have healthy fats and fiber (both soluble and insoluble – we need both) too!
3. Eat cultured vegetables with meals. They help with digestion, especially when eating rich foods and heavy proteins. Add some chopped raw sauerkraut or kimchi to small green salads through out the day. These fermented foods help keep the flora of the gut healthy.
4. Pack your smoothies with lots of nutrients! If you opt for a smoothie make one that is loaded with greens and has no added sugars. When picking fruit, go for dark berries like blueberries. Adding avocado or coconut oil slows the release of energy and helps to moderate blood sugar levels, along with the added fiber from the flax or chia. Try different green leaves such as kale, dandelion, and collard greens. Add fruits that are high in antioxidants and add peeled and whole lemons, grapefruits, and limes for liver detox.
5. Lemon juice aids in digestions, helps create enzymes, and helps control blood sugar levels. When eaten on greens, it helps our bodies absorb iron from these green vegetables, and ensures that we avoid processed salad dressings full of chemicals and sugars.
6. Snack on nuts, seeds, and healthy fats instead of sugary treats throughout the day to offset some of the indulgence in sweet desserts later. You can also snack on sugar-free vegetable based snacks high in fiber, protein, and rich with antioxidants.
7. Drink water all day. Drinking water is especially important with all the holiday coffees and social drinking. It is easy to get dehydrated. Sipping on warm non-caffeinated tea all day or warm water with lemon or apple cider vinegar is always good. Once you are out in the evening try to make a 1:1 rule by drinking a big glass of water in between drinks. Your server may not like you but your body will.
8. Schedule festive lunches or plan for earlier dinners if you can. Eating late at night is hard on the body. If you have to go out for late big dinners choose to eat a meal that is more veggie dense and salad based rather than the giant meat option. Try to be a vegetarian if you are eating after 7pm.
9. Chew well. This will help everything! If you slow down to eat the food you will eat less and digest better.
10. Exercise. Wake up and spend ten minutes stretching, followed by five minutes of deep breathing. Complete 30 minutes of exercise, either in the morning or whenever this fits into your schedule.
11. Get rid of the toxins. In the shower use five minutes of hot water, and then 1 minute of cold, ending on the cold. This helps to move toxins in the skin.
12. Eat the majority of the calories in the beginning and middle of the day. Focus on high protein and fat for the morning. Avoiding cereals and instant oatmeal will help the body control blood sugar more efficiently for the rest of the day. When we start off with a blood sugar blast, we crash and get hungry again.