• Dr. Natasha Ryan

How To Have A Healthy, Happy, Holiday.

The holidays are a time when there seems to always be a gathering of friends or family with lots of delicious, but not so healthy foods to tempt you. Most people forget all about their healthy eating habits and allow themselves to indulge, after all, it's the holidays. Unfortunately, with that indulgence may come a hefty weight gain of 7-10 pounds between Halloween and Christmas. Here are some tips to help you enjoy this special time while keeping yourself healthy and trim.

Plan On Making Good Choices

Part of what makes the holidays so much fun is the parties and family dinners you get to attend. Of course you should relish in the presence of your loved ones but be mindful of the food choices you make. Sample foods by taking smaller portions, instead of large amounts of one kind of food. Survey the selection of dishes and then decide on what you plan to eat before you put it on your plate. Also, make sure to drink eggnog sparingly as each glass can have up to 300 calories or more. Before you go to a party, try to eat a small snack that will help curb your appetite. Make sure to eat more vegetables, fruits, low fat dressings, and slices of lean meats if they are available.

Limit Alcohol Consumption

Good wine and other cocktails are often a part of the holiday celebrations. If possible, limit your alcohol intake to two drinks at any given time. Having too many alcoholic beverages can add a high amount of empty calories to your diet and contribute to weight gain. In the place of alcohol, try my favorite “pseudo cocktail”-sparkling water, a splash of cranberry with lime. It tastes great and it looks like a real cocktail. Of course, water is also another great option. Water can help to decrease your appetite and keep you from eating too much.

Cut Excess Fat From The Menu

Turkey, stuffing, gravy, macaroni and cheese, biscuits, these are just some of my favorite foods found on the holiday menu. They tend to taste great because of the copious amounts of saturated fat added to them think butter. Even these traditional foods found on the menu can be made with lower amounts of fat.

Try to use recipes that call for lower amounts of Crisco, butter and other saturated fats. The exception would be coconut oil, which is high in medium chain fatty acids and is actually quite good for most people. Grapeseed oil is great for cooking as it has a high heat tolerance. Use extra virgin olive oil for dressings as opposed to cooking. Sweeten pies with alternative sweeteners such as agave nectar or stevia to cut down on sugar that can eventually be converted to fat in the body.

Watch The Sugar

Pies, cakes, cookies-these are just some of the things you can expect to see on Thanksgiving and during the holiday season. It is important to remember to choose your desserts wisely and making a choice between the pie or the cake is better than eating the pie and the cake! Even though we call it the holiday season, the actual holidays typically are one day, so save the endulging for the actual holiday and be mindful of your sugar intake most days of the week.


This is a hectic time of year, but don't forget about exercise. Keeping weight off during the holiday season may mean you need to burn off the extra calories that you are taking in. Some strategies can include taking a walk after meals, parking farther from stores when you shop, and making time to get to the gym if you have a membership.

Take Digestive Enzymes.

Taking a digestive enzyme supplement can help your body cope with the excess amounts of food that you may be eating during the holidays. There are three main types of enzymes proteases, which break down protein, amylases which break down carbohydrates and lipases which break down fats. When choosing a digestive enzyme supplement it is important to make sure that the capsules are enteric coated. This will ensure that when the capsule hits the stomach, the acid will not be able to get to the enzymes, which will only start working in the small intestines to do their job. Having the right amount of enzymes present will help cut down on unwanted gas, bloating or acid reflux.

These are just a few recommendations to help you get through the holiday without gaining weight or causing any damage to your state of health.

If you want to speak to someone that can help you create a plan to live your healthiest life, make an appointment with Dr. Ryan today.

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