As summer gives way to fall, the holiday season begins gleaming from just around the corner. Shelves are filled with holiday lights and trees, gifts and goodies. The holidays mean so much in so many different ways, family, togetherness, tradition, gratitude and giving – and let’s be honest – over-indulgence. From Thanksgiving to New Year’s, days are filled with holiday gift baskets and gift exchanges while nights ring with the toasting of cheers, coupled with decadent holiday treats.
Many people find that they end up suffering from post-holiday blues (and weight gain!), a sort of emotional drop after the celebratory craze of Thanksgiving, Hannukah, Christmas, and the like. What most people don’t consider is why they end up feeling this way. In fact, the post-holiday letdown seems to be offhandedly attributed to perceived social or cultural elements. What most fail to consider is that it is in fact the huge spike in indulgent eating and drinking from the end of November to the beginning of January.
High sugar, wheat, and alcohol, food coloring from red and green everything, and even more sugar – this is the true culprit for the post-holiday blues – and of course, weight gain.
Here are some tips to help you avoid, minimize, or at least bounce back from the holidays:
- DO make moderation your friend. DON’T make November to January a free for all.
- DO choose a few key days or events to allow yourself to indulge, i.e. actual holidays and holiday parties. Keep your in between eating extra healthy and SATIATING with grass-fed butter, meats, and eggs, organic greens, and fermented foods.
- DO keep your gut health in check. Sugar, wheat, alcohol and processed foods wreak havoc on the gut, which in turn wreaks havoc on neurotransmitter functioning, which leads to cravings, brain fog, moodiness, irritability, and digestive complaints. Increase your intake of probiotic-rich foods like kombucha tea, grass-fed kefir, fermented sauerkraut and kimchi. Grass-fed bone broth is also highly beneficial to gut health and the digestive tract.
- DO skip low-fat, high sugar, processed foods as much as possible – and opt for high quality fats such as grass-fed butter, pastured eggs, grass-fed meats and coconut oil. Not only will they keep you satiated but they will help manage potential blood sugar spikes from all the sugar and alcohol. Enjoy a bullet coffee or some grass-fed butter on butternut squash before heading out to your next holiday event. By going in with a high quality fat in your stomach you won’t be as tempted to high tail it to the dessert table – especially if your gut health is in check.
- DO consume extra probiotics and omega 3 fatty acids after indulging. They will help repair some of the damage done and can help get you back on track so that one bad meal doesn’t turn into weeks of over-indulgence.
- DO ask people to bring non-dessert items and/or non-traditional foods to holiday gatherings. Pinterest has so many cute, festive ideas using healthy foods. Enjoy a nice warm seasonal butternut squash soup or sweet potatoes with grass-fed butter. Make a holiday scene out of organic fruits and vegetables. Make a pumpkin yogurt dip using raw honey and grass-fed yogurt.
What tips or tricks do you use to get through the holidays without excess weight gain or post-holiday blues? Send us your suggestions!