Researchers find that half of annual FAT GAIN in the U.S. occurs during the holiday period. Most of this fat is retained indefinitely!
Many people believe they need to sacrifice enjoyment for health. However, with these ten tips you can have your cake and eat it (figuratively speaking).
1. Eat More
The most common reaction to weight gain is to starve yourself / count calories. However, this approach is not very successful. Researchers have shown that although you may see short term weight loss from dieting, one year later you end up heavier than when you started. The conclusion? “Don’t go on a diet” – UCLA, April 2007.
This time of year when we have the most temptations, is the worst time to be hungry and have cravings. Instead, just eat more healthy food – this will mean than when the temptations arise, you’ll find it easier to resist or just indulge in moderation. Protein and healthy fats are very satiating and don’t cause blood sugar imbalances which lead to cravings.
Top fillers: Avocado, Meat, Olives, Cheese.
2. Savor & Enjoy
Tea & Coffee:
3. Sleep Deeply
- Block the Blue Light: ‘Blue Light’ is part of the light spectrum during daylight that signals the body to stay awake and alert. In our modern lifestyle, we are subjected to blue light right up to the time we sleep through our TV sets, laptops, phones, etc. This suppresses the production of Melatonin – an important hormone that causes us to sleep and lowers body temperature. By wearing ‘blue-blocking’ glasses for two to three hours before bedtime, you can vastly increase Melatonin levels and have a much better sleep cycle. Our circadian rhythm is vital for health. Search ‘blue blocking glasses’ on Amazon for options. Also apps like ‘fl.ux’ to reduce the blue light from your computer/laptop at nighttime.
- Optimum Sleeping Conditions: For great quality sleep, blocking out all light – having a pitch dark room helps. That also means any blinking LED lights, etc. Also keeping the temperature low – between 62 to 68 degrees. This also helps to increase your metabolism and burn more fat.
- Take a hot bath with Epsom Salts (magnesium) can help relax the muscles. Also taking a magnesium supplement can help relax the body (Up to 80% of people are deficient in magnesium).
- Play relaxing music / mediation or other activities that calm the mind (try not to watch the news / high action TV or late night work that induces stress).
4. Be Active
- Hikes / walks / sightseeing / window shopping / etc. Holiday time is a great time to catch up with family and friends. Rather than meeting in a bar or cafe, go somewhere interesting. This time of year the malls and streets are lit up with beautiful holiday decorations. Walk down Rodeo Drive, go the mall, etc. Be a tourist in your home town!
- HIT. Some high intensity exercise can boost your metabolism for up to 48 hours! Of course we recommend the twenty minute workout at Future Health, but even freestyle squats can work. Do 60 seconds as fast as you can, rest for a minute, then repeat two more times. This workout is complete in 5 minutes. (always check with your healthcare provider before beginning an exercise routine)
5. Plan ahead
- If you’re going to a holiday dinner or party, if it’s appropriate – bring a dish or two! The host may be very grateful for the help!
- If possible, check the menu beforehand. If it’s a restaurant, you can always call beforehand and ask for special requests (say it’s for health reasons).
- Eat a snack or meal before going out. This will ensure you’re not too hungry and makes it easier to avoid the temptations or at least have them in moderation.
- Decide beforehand what you’re going to do. If you just play it by ear… you’re probably going to overindulge. E.g. How many parties you’re going to drink at / how many drinks / etc.
6. Be Adventurous
There’s so much to do in L.A. – rather than the boring bars and restaurants, try more exciting social events.
- Holiday shows, events, etc.
- Ping pong, bowling, roller coaster, Disney, ice skating, etc.
- Here’s 40 Fun & Free Things to Do in L.A.!
7. Flow Activities
8. Create Healthy Holiday Treats!
A lot of flavors that we associate with holidays and being indulgent, can actually be healthy. Here are some sweet and savory holiday treats:
- Chocolate. Dark chocolate (70% or more) is low glycemic, contains magnesium, antioxidants and improves blood flow.
- Cinnamon. This is great to help regulate blood sugar levels and improve insulin resistance. Add this to make healthy pancakes: Blend up eggs, cinnamon and plantains (or almond flour for a low carb option)
- Chai Tea Latte made with unsweetened almond milk / coconut milk.
- Bone Broth – a nice warm hearty savory drink filled with minerals and collagen for healthy skin, joints and bones.
- Look up some paleo or low carb recipes for further ideas and use stevia as a sweetener.
9. Boost your Immune System
This time of year we tend to catch colds or flus more easily. To boost your immune system, here are three nutrients that may help:
- Vitamin D. One reason why we tend to get colds in the winter is that our Vitamin D levels are lower due to reduced sun exposure. The best way to get more is to make an extra effort to get some sun exposure. Alternatively, the next most natural form of Vitamin D is taking Fermented Cod Liver Oil. This also includes Vitamin A, E, K and Omega 3 EFA’s.
- Zinc. Zinc can half the recovery time from colds. Taking oysters can boost your levels of zinc and immune function.
- Magnesium. 80% of us are deficient in magnesium. Also alcohol can deplete us from magnesium and gives us the ‘jitters’. Magnesium is great for your metabolism and also relaxes your muscles.
10. Be Happy!
While stress can negatively impact our health, being happy will boost your health! Don’t be a scrooge… or a grinch… get into the holiday spirit and enjoy and savor the season!
- Appreciation. Thinking of all the things in your life to be appreciative of… family, friends, health, etc. We are living in an amazing world surrounded by fantastic inventions. Whether it’s appreciating a cup of coffee, the food you eat or the things you have, being more appreciative will increase your level of happiness.
- Watch ‘feel good’ movies, read ‘feel good’ stories and listen to ‘feel good’ music. From ‘A Wonderful Life’ to ‘Pleasantville” A Christmas Carol to A Miracle on 34th Street (can always get books on audio for your commute to work!); Nat King Cole to this year’s holiday hits.
- Give back. Whether it’s helping a friend or a charity, giving back is a great act of appreciation.
FH Favorite: Cool Earth – http://www.coolearth.org buy an acre of Rainforest and save trees, people and oxygen!