It's holiday's season ice-creams are calling us from everywhere! Dr. Kamkar Clinics team is sharing with you 6 tips on how to maintain your weight during holidays.
- KEEP A FOOD DIARY IN REVERSE. Most people who keep a food diary note what is eaten after it is eaten. By that time, any poor decisions would already have been made. Instead, try keeping a proactive food diary. That is to say, start your day by writing down exactly what you plan to eat, and then stick with it. While it’s ok to allow yourself a treat here and there, make sure it’s one you “planned for” in your diary that won’t throw off your entire day’s meals. The old adage is that you fail to plan you are planning to fail.
- EAT WHEN YOU'RE HUNGRY. Have you ever tried to “make up” for what you know will be a gorge-worthy holiday meal by eating nothing leading up to the big event? It is likely that when you arrived at the festive occasion, you were so famished that you devoured everything in sight. A far better bet is to eat reasonable meals beforehand so that you feel satiated and are less likely to overindulge on sweets or stuffing.
- EAT YOUR FAT FIRST. Fat will help you to feel full while also stimulating your metabolism. So "snacking" on your portion of these foods first, before helping yourself to all of the starchy sides and desserts, may help you keep your cravings and total food intake in check. Good examples of fat are olives, olive oil, coconut oil, butter and nuts -- macadamia nuts are particularly useful as they are high in fat and low in protein.
- GO FOR A WALK. A brisk walk after your meal has several significant benefits. First, it will get you away from the food, making it less likely that you'll help yourself to seconds or overindulge in dessert upon your return. Second, while supporting your digestion and metabolism, the physical activity will help to lower your blood sugar levels and insulin (i.e. the fat-storing hormone).
- RECONDITION YOUR BRAIN. Make no mistake: the highly processed foods so common at holiday feasts are engineered to appeal to your primal drive for calories, fat, sugar, and salt. As you consume more and more of these highly processed products, your brain will become conditioned to crave these unhealthy foods, making it nearly impossible to resist them.
- TRY INTERMITTENT FASTING. Our ancestors rarely had access to food 24/7 like we do today, and it makes sense that our genes are optimized for intermittent fasting. Research has confirmed there are many good reasons to fast intermittently, including normalizing your insulin sensitivity and ghrelin levels, also known as "the hunger hormone." If you decide to give intermittent fasting a try, do so gradually. You can opt for a 12- 16-hour fast as many times a week as you can. You can also consider fasting every other day, or simply delaying certain meals, such as skipping breakfast and exercising on an empty stomach.