Friday, December 11, 2015

5 Steps To Surviving The Holidays Without Busting Your Belt!

I want you to know you can survive the holiday season without missing out –AND- not messing up your healthy eating game plan.

Guilt can be a strong emotion. Ultimately, in one form or another you will succumb to the guilt. So why not plan for it rather than be controlled by it? It’s ok to eat a food you desire as long as it’s not being done regularly. When you do something on a regular basis (sit on the couch, exercise, eat poorly, eat healthfully) you are telling your body to adapt to whatever it is that you are doing do it regularly. This can be good or it can be bad.  So if you don’t make it a regular thing, you may be able to enjoy some holiday fare and not bust your belt and have to start from scratch on January 1st.

There’s no reason you can’t enjoy whatever you desire to eat at a holiday party. That is, as long as you don’t have an allergy, food sensitivity or autoimmunity to it-or you are diabetic. If that’s the case, well, you know your limits-deal with it. You know the consequences. But otherwise, you’ve worked hard to improve and maintain your health so here are my 5 tips on how to survive the holiday parties with your belt, waistline and health intact.
So here we go:

1.      Eat before you go.  I know going out to a holiday party is all about the food, the friends and the fun.  And trust me; there will be plenty of food there. However if your blood sugar is on an even keel, then you don’t have to worry about being so hungry when you get there that you devour everything in your way. Eat some good protein and healthy fats before you go and you’ll get a long term benefit that allows you to pick and choose your party food without being ruled by your hormones!  You remember how hormones ruled you as a teenager, although these are different hormones, they’re just as powerful.

2.      Fiber filled foods fill you up; Fiber filled foods such as carrot sticks can fill you up fast and last quite a while as your gut takes the time to break them down. When you arrive at the party and you’re still satisfied from eating before you left the house, start with some veggies to maintain what you started at home.
3.      Protein packs a punch; No doubt, there will be cocktail shrimp, turkey, ham, roast beef, chicken, etc. Those with allergies and sensitivities please be careful with the sauces and dips (know your ingredients). But protein packs a punch of calories and having a few ounces every couple hours will go a long way in keeping your blood sugar even and your hormones at bay.

4.      Think before you drink; if you have food allergies, sensitivities or auto-immunities, then make sure you know what was fermented to make your drink of choice. Moonshine most often comes from corn, Vodka from potatoes, beer has gluten grains, wine is from grapes and so on…Choose wisely. Don't drink and drive. 

5.      Your just desserts!  Desserts. Ah, the best for last and probably the reason you’re reading this post. Other than ingredients that may play on you food sensitivities, allergies and auto-immunities, realize it has sugar and is gonna taste fantastic. Eating dessert for some people isthe party. Look over those desserts, choose the 1 or 2 items that for you are totally over the top and remember that this is one of the reasons you eat healthfully and workout like a fiend. Don’t feel guilty, just enjoy it. The fact that you’ve planned it and that you’ve kept your blood sugar steady means you (hopefully) won’t overdo it when it comes to desserts.   

Guilt causes stress and stress (for the most part) is bad. So if you’re gonna eat something to satisfy your taste buds, just get back on track with your next meal and hit the gym the next morning. You’ll be back on track without missing a stride like nothing ever happened.

Oh, when you're at the party, talk to someone. Get into a conversation. As you do, you'll engage your brain into something other than the food. Hey, that's really why we're there anyway, isn't it?

Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas & Happy New Year.  And, for those special folks, Happy Festivus! 

Yours in Health,

Dr. Todd M Narson
·         Diplomate of the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physician
·         USA Triathlon Certified Coach

Dr. Narson is a 2-term past president of the Florida Chiropractic Association’s Council on Sports Injuries, Physical Fitness & Rehabilitation and was honored as the recipient of the coveted Chiropractic Sports Physician of the Year Award in 1999-2000. Dr. Narson is an active triathlete and triathlon coach. He practices in Miami Beach, Florida at the Miami Beach Family & Sports Chiropractic Center; A Facility for Natural Sports Medicine.

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