Celebrate Without the Guilt: How to Have an Empowered Holiday

Are you ready to celebrate the holidays without the guilt?

Don’t you have a relative or friend who doesn’t have to follow standard diet guidelines and they never get fat or look unhealthy? It doesn’t necessarily mean they are healthy, but their attitude of freer eating is positive when combined with educated decisions, and this approach to eating can work for everyone.

I never recommend tips and tricks in place of uprooting the cause of a health problem. Proper testing should be done to find out what the real cause is. However, implementing techniques and learning more about the effects of food on the body can enhance your focus and dedication. These tips can help you and your family have a more enjoyable and fulfilling experience.

Take Fish Oil: Having 1500 mg of fish oil a half hour before a meal will suppress the appetite, and you’ll naturally eat less as a result.

Have Tea: Drinking a cup of tea can help curb cravings and also acts as an appetite suppressant, more or less depending on which types of herbs are used. A good rule of thumb is the bitter the better. Optionally add fresh-squeezed lemon juice and/or raw organic honey.

Eat Out: If you normally have a home-cooked meal, find a healthy restaurant that makes delicious food and go out to eat instead. Dr. Weil’s True Food Kitchen is a great example.

Have Standards: Indulge, don’t overindulge. Pause and ask yourself, “How will I feel after eating this?” If you’ll feel guilty and tired, then it’s not real enjoyment, it’s empty. The underlying attitude should be, “I can take it or leave it,” which gives you the freedom to enjoy, and stop when you know it’s enough. The point is not to deny or deprive yourself.

Have a Plan, Never Cheat: Never, ever under any circumstances label a day of eating as a “cheat day.” Never reinforce a concept that has an extremely negative connotation to it. Semantics you say? Labels are powerful, and many aspects of our world function within these labels. This can unknowingly be detrimental because they are subconsciously activated. Never “cheat” from your food plan. Your food plan should cover all days of eating and factor all meals in, with an additional one or two days of eating higher calories. This mindset is completely different, because the higher-calorie day is planned. You look forward to it because you know you like the foods you’re going to eat on that day. The food is natural, so you know it won’t interfere with your progress. In fact, the higher calorie days speed up your results when done in the right way.

Exercise: That’s right, instead of falling asleep on the couch for an hour, get in a quick, intense 20 minute workout. Some may say it’s ridiculous to work out on a holiday, but that all depends on how important extraordinary results are to you. For some, this may not be necessary, but many people will spend more time in the bathroom with a stomach ache than it will take to exercise. No one will even know you’re gone. The key to this is doing weights then cardio, 10 minutes of each. A very brisk walk or a jog at the very least is better than nothing.

Put a New Cook in Charge: When getting together with family and friends, put someone new in charge who will cook the healthiest.

Always Check Ingredients: The worst fat-promoting things are actually not foods themselves, but are substances found in foods as hidden ingredients. Canola oil, soybean oil, corn oil, yeast extract, high fructose corn syrup, dyes and artificial sweeteners will not only promote fat storage — some will change brain chemistry. So on top of making you feel bad for making a poor choice, they will chemically cause you to feel depressed. Avoid foods with these ingredients at all costs, and you’ll be surprised that you can eat the same foods you used to, and enjoy yourself without gaining weight, during the holidays and always.

Know the Foundation to Fat Loss and Staying Lean: So what is the secret of people who can relatively eat whatever they want and not get fat? They don’t overeat, they keep their body free from blockages, and they have hormonal balance. Stress is the number one culprit for throwing hormones off. This includes feeling overwhelmed and stressed about food, before and after it’s eaten. The over-obsessing about food is a sign of weakness just as much as the not caring about the quality of food one eats is. It’s the attitude that matters most and not the action itself. The negative side of this for people who have never had a problem with their weight is that they may never get pushed to the next level of eating the highest quality food, because they never had a reason to. Without a consequence, conventional foods are eaten, which are not necessarily damaging, but they won’t boost one’s health dramatically, either. For the casual, uninformed eater, this will not last and their health will eventually deteriorate. This is where the person who has had major weight problems can celebrate, because with the right knowledge and effort, they can get to a level of health beyond the average person.

Don’t set yourself up for failure and wait for January to be in the best shape of your life. This is dualistic thinking, sacrificing this for that. Integrate everything, and start now!