by Dr. Michael Boss, DC
“It’s the most wonderful time of year!” so the song goes. So often I hear that this time of the year is a guaranteed 10-15 pound weight gain. Overindulgence is a common theme during the holidays. It’s true that various sweets and libations are commonplace this time of year, but that is no reason to gain a pant size or two this season.
There are a few simple strategies that can reduce your chances of having to return those clothing gifts for a larger size. These are things you can start TODAY and still experience a holiday season that is just as fun, just as cheery and feels a whole lot better than last year.
1. Maintain a regular eating schedule
The seasonal sweets can wreak havoc on your blood sugar metabolism and leave you craving for more. By maintaining a regular, high-nutrient-content meal schedule (lean proteins, good fats, nutrient-dense carbs), you will sustain better blood sugar levels, provide the nutrients your body needs and avoid the crashes and cravings. Then you can have a holiday sweet here and there and not feel guilty or bloated.
This is the season for giving, but how about sharing? Try a taste of that pie, but instead of eating it all, share it with friend or two. You all get a taste, satisfy your palate and move on to the more nutritious options. Studies show that the first bite of a sweet provides the most pleasure, so indulge those pleasure centers of your brain, then feed your body some healthy nutritious food.
3. Maintain regular exercise routines
Even if the whole family is coming to visit, schedule time to exercise. That regular schedule is very important to overall metabolic and physiological function. I have clients who will tell me that they have to take December off from exercise due to their schedule, but they plan to “hit it hard” in January. What happens is it’s often the end of January before they get back in the regular swing. Even if you cut back a bit, make time for exercise.
4. Eat the nutrients
Regular intake of vegetables and fruits provides those important nutrients: vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, enzymes and phyto-chemicals. These are the compounds your body needs to function and respond properly. Eat them or juice and drink them daily. Your body will thank you.
5. Stick to a regular sleep schedule
Holiday parties and social gatherings are fun and important, but they can take their toll on your health by ruining your sleep schedule. Getting solid sack time is vital. If you are a poor sleeper or wake up a lot, you need to find out why. Schedule a functional consult and determine what you need to do to solidify your sleep patterns.
6. Limit the offenders
What are they? The processed bunch: processed grains, highrefined sugars, trans fats, low-to-no-nutrient packaged items. These produce inflammation, stomach and gastrointestinal irritation, drive blood sugars through the roof and just plain make you feel bad. Stick as much as possible to non-processed options.
7. Stay hydrated
Special adult libations and beverages make for festive fun, but don’t forget the water. Alcohol, coffees and other holiday drinks can actually dehydrate cells and tissues. Stick with water – you will stay hydrated and fend off cravings by keeping your body hydrated.
The holidays are a fabulous times and should be spent with friends and families. Reflect on the year and plan for the year to come. Make health and wellness your goal for 2014!
Dr. Michael Boss, DC has been a practicing chiropractor and wellness practitioner for more than 20 years. He is co-founder of Elevate Life, and he provides treatment programs that focus on functional health care, nutrition, acupuncture, exercise, hormone function and balance, chronic diseases, nutriceuticals and more. He co-hosts the weekly ELEVATE LIFE Wellness Hour on 550 KTSA. Call 210-264-2570 for an individual consultation, or visit www.elevatelifewellness.com to learn more.