I consider Halloween to be the official kickoff for the holiday season eating and weight gain battle. And let’s face it Halloween starts it off with a bang! For two solid months we are constantly enticed by sweet treats, alcoholic beverages, office party’s, family get togethers and just flat out good old American gluttony. So what can you do during these trying eating times and stay on track with your health goals? You could just stay home and hide from all the festivities, but let’s face it that just isn’t a realistic way to approach the problem. You could also go to all the events, but just not eat any of the tempting butt and gut, fat adding foods and drinks. Again that doesn’t seam reasonable and not a lot of fun. For those of you who are familiar with my philosophy, living like a food monk is not something I prescribe to, but more of smart choices and balance. With that being said, let’s take a look at some strategies you can employ in your battle of the holiday bulge.
1. Make a deal with your kids that everyone gets to eat two pieces of Halloween candy once a week until it is gone. More than likely the most desired pieces of candy will be taken first and they will soon lose interest with the remaining candy. Also make it a special event and you might even be able to make it your cheat day for those of you who prescribe to my cheat meal/day technique.
2. Probably the easiest tactic to use, is eat a healthy prepared meal before you attend a holiday or office party. The worst thing you can do is go to one of these events hungry, that almost guarantees you will shovel down several food items that will cause you great distress later on.
3. If it just isn’t possible to eat before you attend a holiday party, right before you eat drink about 20 oz of water. This will help fill your stomach and you will be far less likely to overeat.
A just-released study of nearly 15,000 men over the age of 50 suggests that taking a daily supplemental multi-vitamin could reduce rates of cancer by about eight percent. Dr. Michael Gaziano, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and lead author of the study published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association. “Our study shows a modest but significant benefit in cancer prevention.”
So if a multivitamin prevents cancer because it provides a mix of nutrients similar to food, why not just eat more fruits and vegetables? Diets high in fruits and vegetables have been shown in observational studies to reduce the incidence of cancer and other chronic diseases.
Sadly only 1.5 percent of the public gets the recommended daily allowance of fruits and vegetables, according to Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale Prevention Research Center.
For those of you who are fighting the battle of the bulge and attempting to regain your health, I would like to share a useful piece of information. Practically everyone I have worked with or run into attempting to lose weight and keep it off believes substituting artificial sweeteners for sugar is the key. Well I’m sorry, but I’m here to burst that myth. Not only does using artificial sweeteners not assist you in losing weight, in some studies it has been shown to cause more weight gain than normal sugar. Throw in the fact multiple health conditions have been associated with artificial sweeteners, such as:
– Brain tumors
– Chronic fatigue syndrome
– Alzheimer’s disease
– Parkinson’s disease
In a recent study titled: Gain Weight by “Going Diet?” Artificial Sweeteners and the Neurobiology of Sugar Cravings, published in 2010 found:
We know that green tea has many health benefits, such as anti-inflammatory and cancer fighting properties, but did you know it could also help you accomplish your weight loss goals?
Personally I have consumed one to two cups of green tea daily for years, not only for its health benefits, but because it also tastes great cold or hot. For those who are looking for a coffee and soda alternative, and if water is just too bland for your palate, then green tea is an excellent choice.
Every day millions of people enjoy green tea, but where did this popular natural drink come from? Most experts agree that the first tea bushes were found in the Eastern Himalayan Mountains in China and India. Due to the lack of a written character representing tea until the Tang Dynasty, it is estimated that green tea’s origins in China emerged somewhere between 3000 and 5000 years ago. Green tea was first used for its medicinal purposes in China and parts of Russia. Cultures in these regions used green tea to treat asthma, colds, headaches and diarrhea.
Due to the advent of expanded ship transportation and the beginnings of international trade, green tea made its way to Europe and the United States in the 1600’s, and the rest is history. Today green tea is considered the second most popular drink in the world, after water.
I often get asked what is the best milk alternative for people who are lactose intolerant, or have difficulty consuming dairy products. For me the the best alternative is coconut milk, and I consider it also to be the healthiest option for people looking to lose weight. I use USDA Certified Organic So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk. So Delicious Coconut Milk comes in original, unsweetened, vanilla and chocolate. I use So Delicious Coconut Milk almost everyday in my protein drinks.
Here is my favorite post workout recovery protein drink recipe:
- 1-2 scoops of protein powder of your choice.
- 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon.
- A dash of nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon of almond butter
- 1/2 whole pealed banana
- 6-8 ounces of So Delicious Coconut Milk (Vanilla or Plain).
- 2-4 ounces of water until you get consistency you prefer.