Thanksgiving through New Years is the most difficult time of the year to maintain smart eating habits. We will be tempted to eat and drink too much and forget how to exercise. You can preserve your healthy lifestyle with a bit of strategy.

  • Plan ahead. Decide which food or drink items are your favorites and stick to those.

  • Control the size of the portions. Don’t overeat just to be polite. Stop eating after a few bites, so you can enjoy the taste of the food without feeling stuffed. If you are going to a cocktail party, eat before you leave home – don’t go to the party hungry.

  • Look around the buffet or dinner table for items that still resemble the whole food from which they were derived – vegetables, fruits, and beans. Avoid thick sauces, gravies and rich desserts that are laden with fat calories. Munch on low-fat healthy snacks and stay close to the vegetable platter. When you return for seconds, choose more salad, sweet potatoes or other vegetables.

  • Don’t forget to eat plenty of fiber-rich foods such as fruit, vegetables, and beans, instead of fatty, white flour and sugary products.

  • Because you will probably consume more simple sugars than usual during the holidays be sure to include adequate intake of “sugar fighting” nutrients such as B vitamins, magnesium and trace minerals chromium and vanadium. A good quality multi-vitamin preparation will include all of these important nutrients.

  • If you choose to drink and when drinks are offered, opt for a single glass of wine instead of the highly alcoholic mixed drinks, which play havoc with your blood sugar. When you consume extra alcohol, your need for B-vitamins, magnesium and vitamin C increases considerably. Alcohol has been found to rapidly deplete B-vitamin stores. A deficiency of B-6, B-12 and Folate may contribute to depression and fatigue. Magnesium helps the body control the production of cellular energy and improves the heart and nervous system function. Vitamin C can help speed up the metabolism of alcohol while N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is important for the liver’s detoxification process. If you’re consuming alcohol supplement your diet with additional B-vitamins, vitamin C, NAC, and magnesium glycinate.

  • Be sure to exercise over the holidays. Even a half-hour walk will help your body tune-up the metabolic machinery that burns fat and carbohydrates.


Steve Holmes

Clinical Nutritionist

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