Christmas season is Over. Let’s get back on track!
One of the areas I address, especially after the holiday season is helping people get into a good routine again with eating and to try to lose those added pounds from the holidays. Here are a few tips to achieve that goal.
- Eat 3 full meals a day with no snacking in between to keep the fire burning and burn off excess fat. Balance protein with carbodydrates. These should be mostly veggies, whole grains and fruit.
- Always eat breakfast– whole grain porridge oats or whole grain flakes with nuts/seeds with almond/soy/goat milk are a good choice or eggs/veggies & a piece of whole grain toast.
- Eat only unrefined complex carbohydrates including: brown rice, quinoa, millet, oats, rye, whole grain bread/crackers, so that you feel more satiated with less amounts. This helps bind toxins accumulated over the holidays.
- Make greens one of the main vegetables in the diet since these give you many of the micro-nutrients that help lose weight and to give the liver the nutrients to eliminate accumulated toxins (all that extra chocolate, sugar, coffee, desserts etc. etc. etc– you know what I mean!!!!). Choose between kale, swiss chard, parsley, cilantro, dark green lettuces, broccoli, peas and beans or any other dark green vegetable. Greens also help keep you alkaline allowing the body to detoxify and let go of excess weight that surrounds those breakdown products.
- Drink plenty of herbal teas, water or diluted fruit juice to flush out toxins and prevent constipation. Remember no acidifying juices such as citrus or tomato.
- Always eat so that you are satisfied, then stop. Soups are great to start a meal to warm up the digestive system and decrease the need to eat large amounts afterwards.
- Eat slowly and savour your food so that your body has a chance to signal that it is full.
- Often, after the holiday, the body gets used to more food. If needed, use raw seeds or almonds to add protein to stabilize blood sugar. This helps to re-establish the balance.
- Minimize your intake of cow dairy products, beef and pork and trim off all fat, since these cause inflammation in the body and contain fat that isn’t utilized but stored.
- Avoid foods that have been hydrogenated, which create trans fats that are stored, not utilized and raise cholesterol, LDL and triglyceride levels. Replace solid margarines, spreads with coconut oil, olive oil or seed/nut oils.
- Increase your amount of unsaturated essential fats, such as the omega 6’s in nuts, seeds and their oils, and the omega 3’s in fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines and halibut. These fats are utilized to lubricate your joints, keep your skin moist and prevent wrinkles, increase luster in your hair, decrease inflammation in the body and produce hormones.
- Use maple syrup, concentrated apple juice, barley malt, molasses and date or coconut sugar for sweeteners and honey sparingly.
- Reduce salt intake which retains water, therefore weight–Interestingly when buying a free-range turkey for Christmas, the farmer told me they don’t feed the turkeys salt to increase their weight quickly!
- Investigate whether you have allergies, sensitivities or a yeast overgrowth, which can all lead to excess weight retention.
- Make sure your thyroid is functioning normally and take steps to improve its function. One of the indicators is temperature– a normal temp is 98-99F or 37-38.2C
All these tips should help you get back to the weight you wish to be and maintain it at that level consistently.
Brenda Gill is a naturopath practising in Rossland, BC.