Go in with a Strategy

Go into the holidays with a strategy or you might start to resemble the big man in red by New Years Eve.

I read an article yesterday in the Globe & Mail by Leslie Beck, a well-known R.D. in Toronto. She started her article by saying this wasn’t going to be another piece on “how to prevent weight gain during the holiday season” because she doesn’t want to be a “Debbie Downer.” However, that’s exactly what the article ended up being – a list of tactics to help minimize the damage to your waistline over the next few weeks (which I thought was great by the way).

I read some of the comments that were posted on the article, and there are some strong opinions out there when it comes to holiday eating! Because I hope to become a nutrition consultant one day, and will most likely hear similar comments from clients; I decided to address a few of them.

Many expressed frustration that the article was in fact about “how to prevent weight gain over the holidays” even though she promised it wouldn’t be, but others gave their own holiday eating strategies, such as:

Comment: “Eat healthy everyday, but pick one day to totally pig out – wear stretchy pants or loosen your belt and eat & drink as much as you want – enjoy yourself! One day of indulgence won’t cause weight gain, and you can burn it off the next day!”

My take: Do you ever feel good after you totally overdo it? Wouldn’t you rather go into a holiday party or Christmas dinner with a bit of a strategy – one that will allow you to enjoy your food, drinks & dessert, but still feel good about your choices and self the next day?

Comment: “Increase the intensity of your workouts and eat more fruits, veggies, and fibre a month before a holiday. Eat and drink whatever you want during the holidays and then when it’s over, go back to the same workout and eating routine you had before the holidays.”

My take: Maybe this works for some, but who wants to put themselves through that? Consuming unhealthy food & alcohol for weeks in a row will start to take its toll on your body: potential weight gain; your liver becomes overloaded with toxins; affecting the look of your skin & important body functions (ie.digestion), and your energy & mood will be at an all-time low. 

Comment: “If you eat a truly healthy diet year around, you will not have any desire to eat massive amounts of crap food over the holidays.”

My take: Not realistic for the average person. No matter how good you are year-round; it’s difficult to avoid overdoing it on your favourites without a strategy (especially when it’s readily available, and alcohol is involved – weakens your defences). 

I think the reason Beck ended up providing holiday eating tactics is because unless you want to cause damage to your health, gain weight, or feel bad about yourself this holiday season; you need a strategy. I don’t think she’s being a ‘Debbie Downer;’ she’s simply trying to help you enjoy the holidays without feeling like crap about yourself after. That being said, I think she should have called the article what it was; another piece on “how to prevent weight gain during the holiday season.”

Happy Holidays!



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