Dr Nicola Dehlinger, ND

The holidays are upon us and with it comes parties, stress and opportunity to eat excess amounts of food. With a few simple tricks, this holiday season will increase only your joy – not your waistline!

10 Simple Tricks to Tackle This holiday Season to Increase Your Joy and Not Your Waistline

#1| Stay Hydrated

This is such a simple basic that is often overlooked. What many of us don’t realize is that dehydration can be masked as hunger – so we eat instead of drink. Being dehydrated also decreases our mental objectivity, which can increase stress and contribute to poor food choices.

#2| Get Some Sleep

When we aren’t well rested, our physiology is disturbed resulting in imbalanced blood sugar.  If we’re tired, we look to stimulants like sugar or caffeine to perk us up. Many of us don’t connect sleep to food consumption, so notice the correlation in your own life.

#3| Look for Recipe Upgrades to Your Old Favorites

There’s no need to skip on your traditional favorites, but you can certainly upgrade to find healthier, whole-foods based ingredients.  I will often just search for “paleo _____” or “vegan _____” and whatever it is I’m looking for comes back with delicious and amazing recipe options that I feel good about eating.  Win-win!

#4| Be Sure to Move Daily

Even 10-15 minutes of swift walking 2x a day can be helpful – not just for your waistline, but for your mood, stress management, blood sugar and immune system.

#5| Practice Mindful Eating, Even at Parties

Focus on chewing your food well and enjoying the smell, taste, and texture of each item. Research shows that “mealtime multitasking” (where you’re not paying attention to the act of eating) can make you pop mindless calories into your mouth. Set your food down until you’re finished chatting, so you are more aware of what you’re taking in. Stand more than an arm’s length away from the snacks.

#6|Don’t shop hungry.  I repeat.  Don’t shop hungry.

When we’re stressed, we look for high density caloric foods.  Not only do we buy junkier foods, but we blow our food budget.  Have a snack, make a list, and then shop.

#7| Eat Before You go to a Party

This way you won’t feel tempted to gorge on the buffet or high calorie appetizers. To maintain balanced blood sugars, don’t skip meals if you think you’re going to overeat, but you can eat less at other meals. Serve yourself less than you think you want and then get seconds if you’re still hungry. Don’t forget to bring your own healthy dish!

#8| Don’t Take on New Diets or Regimens

During the holidays, simply try to maintain weight or current health goals. Set a New Year’s goal now and keep it in your mind throughout the month to help keep you on track.

#9| Beware of Drinking Your Calories!

Non-alcoholic drinks can be filled with calories and sugar. Alcoholic beverages are too, and lower inhibitions about overeating.

#10| Choose Other Activities Besides Eating

When you gather with family and friends include crafts, games, and getting outside.

Try these tips and enjoy a healthy holiday season without the down-side-effects

With these ideas, you will cruise through the holiday season enjoying and tasting it all – without any of the downside!

May your holiday season be filled with ease, light and nutritious foods.

Dr Nicola Dehlinger, ND, graduated from SCNM in 2004. Dr Nicola sees clients from around the world in her naturopathic medical practice, Pura Vida Natural Healthcare, in Durango, CO. She is an expert in the treatment of anxiety, depression, and insomnia. She is able to minimize supplements and medications as her patients become empowered to heal themselves. In addition to seeing clients, Dr Nicola leads group and private retreats. She also teaches a variety of online and in-person classes. In her free time, you can find Dr Nicola in the mountains or the kitchen, enjoying time with her husband, son, and their dogs. Website: www.puravidahealthcare.com

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