The holiday season is a wonderful time of year that is full of laughter, love and good food….really good food.It is no surprise that January is one of the busiest month for me as a naturopath.  People are looking for ways to shed those extra pounds they packed on during the holidays.  They gain 10-15 pounds over the holidays and then spend several months trying to lose that weight, but only to cycle all over again the following year.

Wouldn’t it be a much better idea to just avoid gaining the weight in the first place? Losing weight is stressful and time consuming.  It is healthier, easier and much less stressful on your body than repeating another gain-lose cycle.

I am going to give you some of my tried and true tips for staying trim and healthy over the holidays.  These tips have worked for me year after year to keep my weight from fluctuating during this festive season.

Keys To Holiday Health Success

1. Moderation

Moderation is a given – all year round. If you completely deprive yourself, then you will end up binging on the things you have restricted yourself from for so long.  The key with moderation is obvious: moderation. If you know once you start that you can’t stop eating, then it would be a good idea to never start in the first place.  On the other hand, if you know you can have dessert without falling of the wagon, then by all means have some dessert!

I typically recommend the 90-10 rule during the holidays: eat extremely healthy 90% of the time so you can be much more flexible with the remaining 10%.  Does this mean you fill the entire 10% with pie, cake and cookies?  Absolutely not!  But, it does mean you are not going to tip the scale with a slice of pie, a couple cookies or maybe an extra glass of wine.

2. Pick your “Cheat Foods” Carefully

Carbohydrates are the primary source of weight gain.  It is always better to choose protein food or fat over carbs.  For example, bacon is less likely to cause weight gain than cookies and cake.  If you are going to cheat during the holidays, then cheat with high fat vs. high carbs/sugar.  Choose bacon wrapped shrimp over chocolate cake. Fat and protein also make you feel fuller longer so you are less likely to go back for seconds.

3. Stay Hydrated

Drinking lots of water will help curb your appetite.  Many times we feel hungry when we are truly thirsty.  So, drink a large glass of water a couple minutes before you start eating and you can save several hundred calories.

4. Weight Loss Supplements

I am not a huge proponent of weight loss supplements; I believe diet is more important than a pill.  But during the holidays, I do recommend some safe weight loss supplements that can help you safely get through the holiday season without gaining any weight. Two of my favorites supplements are:

  • White Kidney Bean

White Kidney Bean is a carb blocker.  Although avoiding carbs is even better then resulting to pills, this extract can be taken if carbs are your weakness. Taken only with high carb meals, it blocks the digestive enzyme that converts carbs metabolizing into sugar.  This is currently one of the most popular supplements on the market today.

  • CLA

Conjegated Linoleic Acid is a fatty acid naturally found in meat, dairy products and sunflower seed oil.  Studies have shown that those who take CLA lose fat while gaining muscle.  It does many other positive things for the body and is one of the safest weight loss supplements on the market.

By incorporating these healthy tips, you can enjoy the holiday season – even some of the holiday food – without worrying about weight gain and guilt. Using these 4 tips gives you the tools to a successful healthy holiday season!

Happy – and Healthy – Holidays!