Most articles will tell you to count calories, eat less fat, take smaller portions, (or my favorite…) wear tight clothing to shame yourself into not eating, chew gum, don’t skip meals and on and on. Not only are these tips a really boring way to celebrate holiday parties and gatherings which always involve food, they don’t work. During a time like the American holiday season we need fewer things to remember, not long, shaming lists. So here it is, The Real Unprocessed Food’s guide to holiday feasting.
- Just Feast and enjoy it! Humans have been feasting for many a millennia. Religious, cultural and traditional celebrations have always revolved around a hearty feast. The American holidays happen just once a year, so feast and enjoy yourself.
- Feast mostly on real unprocessed foods. Go ahead and eat as many vegetable sides as you can stuff into your celebrating face! Skip the chips, pretzels and other processed foods. Stick to the high quality meats, the veggies, the fruits, the nuts, the cheeses and the specialty foods that many splurge on this time of the year.
- Fast along with your feasting. The holiest of religious celebrations often mix fasting and feasting – Ramadan and the Ramadan Feast, Lent, Yom Kippur… Check out the different methods of intermittent fasting and stick to one during the numerous holiday celebrations. When you fast for part of the day or week you will give your body the chance to use up all the extra fuel you are getting while intermittently feasting.
- Do not feast on alcoholic beverages! Alcohol is sugar and is quickly absorbed and stored away as fat. Inebriated, the more likely you will ignore your leptin hormone signals telling you that your tummy is full and you will be more apt to choose low quality processed foods.
P.S. This tip is most highly advisable during any work related holiday function!
- Get adequate sleep and exercise and keep the stress in check. The holidays should be fun and relaxing. Do not overcommit yourself. Know your limits with baking, children’s school activities, hosting and party attending. I find it useful to plan out my entire month of December as far as gifts and parties. I use a spreadsheet to keep track of my gift budget as well as hostess gifts and the cost of a party or dinner I might be hosting that year. I use the entire month to prepare for gift giving and party hosting. Inadequate sleep and exercise coupled with high stress leads to overeating, usually too much alcohol & processed foods. Do not skimp on sleep or exercise in an effort to make time to get everything done.
So enjoy the feast and festivities. The American holidays are a much needed time for us all to work less, show gratitude for the ones we love and eat like royalty!