Top 5 Commandments for Holiday Eating

Published: October 23, 2012
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With holiday season upon us, wonderful foods will tempt us to overindulge at every turn. Most take for granted that putting on a few extra pounds is an inevitable part of the fun. Not so. By following a few simple rules you'll can enjoy your holiday goodies while staying healthy, too.

Here are my Top 5 Commandments for holiday eating:

  1. Enjoy yourself! Holidays are meant for fun and celebration.
  2. No guilt! I guarantee you that feeling guilty will not leave you eating less or being healthier. It will simply keep you from enjoying what you do eat.
  3. Use smaller plates. Smaller plates translate to smaller servings and still give pretty much the same satisfaction when you've cleaned off your plate. Just give yourself this simple rule. It is always ok to go back for seconds, as long as you wait 20 to 30 minutes from the time you began eating. Why this rule? Because it takes 20-30 minutes for your stomach to send the chemical signal to your brain that it is full. 20 minutes after eating, you likely won't want more , or if you do it'll be just a small amount. But knowing that you can have more makes it easy to wait.
  4. Pig out on proteins. Go big on the turkey and other proteins, which are less likely to pack on the pounds. Ease back on the carbs, like stuffing, potatoes and cranberry sauce (but savor the few bites of each you put on your plate).
  5. Go light on the sweets and desserts - which is what really crashes people during holidays. If you see ones that look yummy, that you really want to have, put a bite or two of each in a serving plate and walk away from the serving dish. Then savor it with no guilt.

Can't have any sugar? Pack some sugar free chocolate with you. For a real treat, check out the Abdallah's Candies sugar-free line.

The problem is that when people do feel guilty about eating a dessert, they inhale it quickly without even tasting it. Not having tasted it, they go back for more and keep repeating the cycle. Instead, realize that your sweet tooth taste buds are saturated after one or two bites, and the one or two bites are not what pack on the pounds, so enjoy and savor them — guilt free.

A Few Added Thoughts

When it comes time for New Year's resolutions to recover from the holidays, I invite you to stop dwelling on the negative thinking of "I should do this or I should do that." The use of "should" talk is your subtle way of saying that you don't really want to do something and you're not going to stick with it anyway. In the end all you accomplish is to beat yourself up with guilt. Instead, find one or two resolutions that feel good to make and that you're willing to stick to, regarless of how minor they may seem. For instance, if you want to resolve to exercise more, rather than buying a gym membership, you might simply commit to doing more walking through little tricks like parking your car at the far end of the mall parking lot when you go shopping.

If you find that you have flaring of sinus problems or irritable bowel syndrome (gas, bloating, diarrhea, or constipation) along with exhaustion and widespread achiness, there is a good chance that sugar excess might be triggering fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome. A good holistic doctor or fibromyalgia specialist can help you address these effectively. The American Board of Integrative Medicine (ABIHM) includes over 1,500 board-certified holistic practitioners who can help you. Their website can also help you locate a certified holistic physician near you.

Remember though. Life is supposed to be fun — and it's OK to enjoy it!

Love and Blessings,

Dr. T

Jacob Teitelbaum, MD

is one of the world's leading integrative medical authorities on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. He is the lead author of four research studies on their treatments, and has published numerous health & wellness books, including the bestseller on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome From Fatigued to Fantastic! and his newer The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution.  Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the most frequently quoted fibromyalgia experts in the world and appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and Fox News Health. 

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