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Avoid the holiday food ambush

By - Bob Otieno | Dec 23rd 2012 | 2 min read
By - Bob Otieno | December 23rd 2012

By Bob Otieno

If you usually gain unwanted weight during the holidays, here are some ways to avoid being ambushed by unwise choices and tempting goodies. You might consider reading Holiday Eating with Dignity and Health.

To avoid the January panic of trying to lose those unpleasant kilogrammes, spend December eating with grace, strength and forethought for optimal health (which usually means responsible weight management).

The fallacy with ‘panic dieting’ is that it usually leads to long term failure because it sets you up for a faulty metabolic pattern known as yo-yo dieting.

 A second fallacy of ‘panic dieting’ is that you cannot lose more than two pounds (half a kilo) of fat in a week.

Responsible holiday eating should not be synonymous with boring and difficult deprivation. It merely means that you maintain an awareness of good balance while enjoying good taste.

Many fitness and nutrition health experts advocate to a 40-30-30 (40 per cent carbohydrates, 30 per cent protein and 30 per cent fat) style of eating.

This is not so much a ‘diet’ but rather a Way of Eating (Woe) and applies to celebration days, special occasions and everyday eating.

The simple rules are:

1. Eat some protein in every meal and every snack. No exceptions.

2. Eat some of the protein foods first.The objective is to control your blood insulin (the fat storage hormone and the anti-fat metabolising hormone) levels. Appreciate that protein also controls appetite so you will tend to eat fewer calories.

More practical tips:

1. Eat cheese before you take wine; or sausage or chicken wings before beer.

2. Eat colourful vegetables (raw if possible) rather than starchy, easy to mash vegetables or breads, grains and sugary items.

3. If you stray, try a brisk workout as soon as possible following the insulin raising incident. Exercise reduces insulin and starts your fat burning mechanisms.

4.    Want dessert? Avoid bread and starch in the main course.

5.    Best appetisers are nuts, seeds, baked chicken wings, quality cold meats, cottage cheese and yoghurt dips with raw vegetables.

6.    At social functions, view all of the choices before you begin indiscriminate snacking or just filling your plate. Plan forward.

7.    Anticipate  —  if there will be no protein offered, pack you own.

8.    Water with lemon or lime is a good drink and its insulin is neutral.

9.    Avoid deep fried grease, cheap oils and margarines alike. Don’t be afraid of good fats  — avocados, unsalted nuts, seed and cold pressed oils. You need good fat to metabolise other fats and build hormones.

 Following some of these Woe tips can lead to a life in the Wow (World of Wellness) and a joyous happy holiday feasting.




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