Tips for getting back on into shape after the holidays

Helpful tips for getting back on into shape after the holidays

One of the areas I address, especially after the holiday season is helping people get into a good routine again with eating and to try to lose those added pounds from the holidays. Here are a few tips to achieve that goal.

* Eat 3 meals a day to keep the fire burning with equal amounts of protein (chicken/fish/eggs/tofu/nuts/seeds/buffalo/lamb and carbohydrates(fruit/grains/ vegetables/beans & legumes)

* Always eat breakfast– whole grain porridge oats or whole grain flakes with nuts/seeds or nuts/seeds with yogurt & fruit are a good choice

* Eat unrefined complex carbohydrates including: whole grain bread, whole grain pasta, brown rice, quinoa/millet, oats, rye and corn so that you feel more full with less amounts and this helps bind toxins accumulated over the holidays.

* Make greens one of the main vegetables in the diet since these give you many of the micro-nutrients that help lose weight and to give the liver the nutrients to eliminate accumulated toxins (all that extra chocolate, sugar, coffee, desserts etc. etc. etc– you know what I mean!!!!)

* Drink plenty of herbal teas, water or diluted fruit juice to flush out toxins and to prevent constipation

* Always eat so that you are satisfied, then stop. Soups are great to start a meal to decrease the need to eat large amounts afterwards.

* Eat slowly and savour your food so that your body has a chance to signal its full.

* Graze in between meals with such things as nuts and seeds to add protein to stabilize blood sugar. Often, after the holiday, the body gets used to more food. This helps to re-establish the balance.

* Reduce your intake of dairy products and meat and trim off all white fat, since these cause inflammation in the body and contain fat that isn’t utilized but stored

* Avoid foods that have been hydrogenated, which create trans fats that are stored as fat not utilized such as solid margarines. It’s better to use butter

* Increase your amount of unsaturated essential fats, such as the omega 6 in nuts and seeds and of course their oils, and the omega 3 in fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines and halibut. These fats are utilized to lubricate your joints, keep your skin moist and prevent wrinkles, decrease inflammation in the body and produce hormones.

* Use maple syrup, concentrated apple juice, barley malt and date sugar for sweetenters and honey sparingly

* Reduce salt intake which retains water, therefore weight–Interestingly when buying a free-range turkey for Christmas, the farmer told me they don’t feed the turkeys salt to increase their weight quickly!

* Investigate whether you have allergies, sensitivities or a yeast overgrowth, which can all lead to excess weight retention

* Consider supplements of B and C vitamins, choline and inositol, which all turn food into energy or transport fat to be utilized

* Consider minerals such as zinc, which helps control appetite and cravings, chromium, which helps weight loss and blood sugar control and manganese, which helps metabolize fats

* Consider Coenzyme Q10 to help speed weight loss by using energy more quickly

* Garcinia cambogia is a plant that helps curb appetite, reduce food intake and inhibit fat formation

* Make sure your thyroid is functioning normally and take steps to improve its function. One of the indicators is temperature– a normal temp is 98-99F or 97-98.2C

All these tips should help you get back to the weight you wish to be and maintain it at that level consistently

Dr. Brenda Gill is a naturopath in Rossland