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DrG's Medisense Feature Article

19112-Surviving_Holidays A Surviving the Holidays Healthfully
by Ann Gerhardt, MD
November 2019
Print Version

The Two-Months-of-Eating Season, otherwise known as Halloween-Thanksgiving-Christmas-Hanukkah-Kwanzaa has started.  I’ve already seen astronomically high blood test results, proving that left-over Halloween candy didn’t go to waste. 

People tell me that one meal or even a few bites of ‘blowing it’ food opens the floodgates to ‘blowing’ the whole meal or day.  In some minds, holidays become the perfect excuse to ‘blow it’ for weeks at a time.  These excuses for abandoning self-control and leaving our body parts to their own defenses set those people up for New Year resolutions that will fall to new excuses.

For those who choose to acknowledge responsibility for their actions, there is a three-pronged method to indulge tasty food this season without destroying health:

1)    Taste and eat slowly.  There is no rule that one must eat whole portions of anything.  Tasting a bit of everything allows one to savor holiday flavors without piling on calories.

2)    Two complete servings each of vegetables and fruit daily.  This doesn’t compensate for gravy or dessert calories, but it does at least maintain some basic quality nutrition.

3)    Save left-overs.  That way tasting them can continue over days, or weeks, if they are frozen. 

4)    Exercise every day.  I’ve never seen a patient who followed the taste principle and continued to exercise at least 5 days a week through the season gain weight.

Try also to remember that holidays are good for more things than food.  Friends & family.  Sharing experiences.  Music.  Giving.  Religious affirmation.  And lots of pretty things.