While most people prepare for the holidays by shopping for gifts, decorations, and party favors, we like to focus on our diets this time of year.
With a month before the holidays, now’s the time to start preparing your body for the holiday feasting ahead. Leading dietitian Susie Burrell says with the right planning and discipline, you can even stand to lose weight this time of year.
She suggests sticking to a strict, healthy eating period for a short period of time: Eat only fresh fruits and vegetables for just three to five days. Afterwards, people should then add foods that contain protein, iron, zinc, calcium and other nutrients the body needs to function properly.
“For this reason, committing to a diet detox for a week or less, a time in which you have no social engagements and can keep 100 percent focused on your nutrition is the key to success.” Burrell said.
Pick Fresh, Natural Foods
If you only eat fresh, unprocessed foods a week before Christmas, that can help in detox. She recommends sticking to the produce to reduce excess fluid and cut weight, without skipping any meals.
“The simple goal of basing all of your meals for this time around fresh fruit and vegetables – soups, salads, stir fries, smoothies and juices will seriously load your body full of vitamins, minerals and fibre, help to eliminate the body of excess fluid and help you drop a kilo or two without skipping meals or drinking only juice,” she said.
Manage Your Eating Hours
Another thing you can do a week or two before holiday feasts is managing meal hours to keep or lower their weight.
“Ideally we need at least 10-12 hours overnight without food, yet some of us have as little as 6-8 each day,” she noted. “The result is that we tend to store more fat than we should be and rarely feel particularly hungry, rather eating when others are eating, or when we can.”
Longer periods between meals can aid in triggering hormones that control fat metabolism, control calorie intake and support weight loss. Burrell recommends eating your last meal by 6 or 7pm each night, followed by a breakfast on or past 8-9am for an “overnight fasting effect in the body.”
One of the main culprits preventing weight loss is regular snacking. During the break, try to leave about four to five hours between meals to kick-start your body’s metabolic processes. Avoid eating processed, high carb foods between meals, such as crackers, muffins, milk coffees, biscuits and snack bars.
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