By Dylan Coombs ND
Holiday celebrations can easily derail our best progress when it comes to healthy eating. The right strategies and a little planning can help you stay on track.
Keep Up Good Habits
DON’T: Lose all your good habits because of changing schedules. Different work schedules and holiday commitments can make it hard to keep up your healthy habits.
DO: Label your successful habits and plan how you’ll keep those. Whether it’s weekly food prep, morning workouts, or eating at certain times, identify your best habits and focus on those through the holidays.
Make Smart Choices
DON’T: Lose sight of your food goals. With lots of tasty options, it can be easy to fill a plate with high calorie, low nutrient foods.
DO: Choose holiday foods that fit into a balanced meal plan.
brown bread stuffing
whole wheat pasta
FRUIT & VEGETABLES
Control Blood Sugar
DON’T: Get caught on a blood sugar roller-coaster. Eating simple carbs makes your blood sugar rise quickly and then drop back down. The drop causes low energy and the temptation to reach for more sweets, starting the cycle over again.
DO: Start your day with protein, fibre, and a little bit of fat. These nutrients give a filling, slow release of blood sugar to keep your energy balanced over the day.
DON’T: Make tomorrow harder because of a drink today. A glass of wine may seem like a good way to unwind, but alcohol makes it harder to get sound sleep. Being tired makes you eat more calories the next day.
DO: Choose carefully when an alcoholic drink is worth the consequences. Avoid aimless drinks that will damage your sleep when you didn’t really want them in the first place.
Support a Healthy Gut
DON’T: Encourage bad gut bacteria. Eating white flour and sugar feeds bad bacteria in the intestines, which increases sugar cravings and has a negative effect on mood and immunity.
DO: Give your beneficial microflora a holiday feast. Prebiotics like onions, garlic, bran, oats, asparagus, and Jerusalem artichokes feed our good bacteria, to manage cravings and balance mood.
DON’T: Use food as your main support. Holidays can be a challenging time for many people. Turning to the comfort of food can make for a larger challenge come January.
DO: Find healthy support for the season. If you have been having low mood, trouble handling stress, or other health challenges, a naturopathic doctor can help.