The wonderful holiday season is well upon us. We’re in the final stretch with Christmas Day and New Years parties fast approaching.  At Fast.Eat.Live. we coach our clients to embrace these holiday traditions where friends and family gather. This is where we differ from most nutrition companies. We celebrate these times and call them “Live” days. This doesn’t mean glutinous practices of so-called “cheat days”, but emphasizes the importance of spending time with people you love and choosing foods that bring you great joy. We coach decadence over quantity. We say the calories that you enjoy with loved ones aren’t only about nutrient density and caloric numbers. These should be calculated as “happiness” and “joy”. The distressing benefits of laughter and embracing friends and family, far outweigh clinical thoughts of scales, foods that are deemed unhealthy, and neurotic behavior. Keep that focus this holiday season and you’ll come out with a healthy mindset to start the new year. Here are our best tips to minimize weight gain by eliminating foods that cause weight gain and maximize fun. 

Eat from cheese platters 

Although cheese platters are often high in calories, they are some of the best hors d’oeuvre option at a holiday party. They usually offer a variety of nuts and meats as well. Eating low carb helps to control your appetite, because fats and proteins tend to be more satiating, and typically don’t lead to overeating.

The combination of fat and protein will help you feel full faster and minimize cravings for sugary treats.

Avoid foods like bread, rolls, crackers, and sugary treats.

Processed foods made with refined grains and sugars, spike blood glucose, creating an insulin response in the body that promotes fat gain. Before you eat, ask yourself if your food ever walked, swam, flew, or grew in the ground. If so, it’s designed to for us to eat. Bread, crackers, and other grain-based products are overly-processed with inflammatory oils and mystery ingredients.

The healthiest foods are proteins and vegetables.

Start with a smaller portion size.

The size of the portions you serve yourself greatly influences how much food you ultimately take in. Your eyes are always bigger than your stomach. Start with a quick pass and fill your plate with only your favorite or amazingly decadent foods. This will thwart over-eating and stop you from eating foods that are ordinary. 

You can always go back for more if you are still hungry, but odds are, you will eat less overall than if you overfilled your plate the first time.

Eat Slower.

Remember this is not a race! Stop and have conversations, smile often, and look around the room, soaking in the moment. Food is amazing and enjoyable, but the environment is filled with people, sounds, and sights to be soaked in. Make memories worth remembering.

Your body signals your brain that you’re getting full if you eat slower. This is time to enjoy water or a fun libation during the holidays. Take your time. Enjoy all aspects of the party. 

Coach’s tip: Start with protein and a cocktail.

Protein promotes satiety. At Fast.Eat.Live. our coaches always advise clients to eat protein first with a big glass of water. Then, have a cocktail, while mingling. This maximizes the nutrient-dense foods that your body desires first. (We are made entirely of protein after all.) The alcohol or fun drink, just help us to be social and engaging. You’re less likely to over-eat if you start every party this way. 

Drink responsibly.

Limit alcoholic beverages to enjoy the moment. Just like with food, make the beverage count. Drink one of your favorite drinks, not many mediocre ones. Maximize fun and taste. Minimize negative effects of alcohol on the body, don’t get too tipsy, or drive after the event. When it comes to calories, the alcohol you choose matters. Dry white or red wines are lower in sugar. Liquors such as whiskey, vodka, and tequila by themselves don’t have many calories, but don’t add mixers.That is where the sugars and calories sneak in. 

Most beers are high in carbs, but lighter beers can have less. Be sensible here. Make memories, don’t forget the event, or embarrass yourself. 

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