Halloween ushers in the beginning of the holiday season and, sometimes, the start of the slippery slope to holiday overeating.
What’s a couple of snack size candy bars? Well, even those fun-size candy bars, can add up. Sugar and empty calories could lead to adding a few pounds, especially if you don’t up your exercise regimen and eat healthy the rest of the day.
That doesn’t mean you can’t have a little Halloween candy, if you limit your consumption. It does mean, even during the holidays _ and maybe more so _ you should not abandon the healthy eating and exercise habits you’ve been trying to stick to the rest of the year.
Remember the key is to enjoy time with friends and family during the holidays (even if it’s virtually). Don’t pile more guilt or stress on yourself.
Tips for staying on track
- Before eating or drinking holiday goodies, ensure you have some protein in your body. This can be any kind of animal or vegetable protein or even an energy “protein” drink. It’ll help you from being too hungry when facing treats.
- Plan a workout. Get your metabolic system ready to use those extra calories.
- Drink two (2) eight-to-ten-ounce glasses of water before making any food choices. If you can add lemon to the water that’s even a better option to stimulate digestive enzymes.
- Choose vegetables or foods higher in protein. Try to keep to a minimum simple starches, like chips, crackers, breads, beer and cookies.
- Chew your foods slowly, so you can begin to realize fullness. Fifteen to twenty chews per bite would be ideal.
- If you don’t usually mix all kinds of food categories, you may find overeating will lead to bloating and then fatigue the next day as the digestive system works overtime. If you do overeat, chewable enzymes will assist your digestion and may prevent feeling bloated.
- Skip dairy whenever possible.
- Drink green tea. It will decrease fat absorption and increase fat burning cells.
- If you choose to drink alcohol, red wine is a better option. Red wine has wonderful antioxidant properties. It also contains resveratrol, which has excellent effects on the metabolism of insulin.
Most importantly, have fun and enjoy! It is a wonderful time of year to be thankful for health and to spend time (even if it’s virtually) with those who bring you great happiness and love.
Be well and have a happy, healthy and safe holiday season!
Dr. Holly Donahue is a licensed, board-certified Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine. She is the founder of Simple Health, offering online wellness programs and counseling at www.simplehealthnh.com