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How is Your Holiday Diet?
With holidays around the corner, chances are you’ll be indulging in excess food, snacks, and alcohol while watching your blood sugar, cholesterol, and unwanted winter weight rise.
Several studies suggest between the first week of November and the first week of January there is a significant increase in weight gain and obesity worldwide. One study concludes holiday season seems to increase body weight in adults, even in participants seeking to lose weight and in motivated self-monitoring people.
What Can We Do about Holiday Weight Gain?
One study found that if normal holiday food eating was balanced with two days a week of calorie restriction, to the tune of 730 calories a day, not only would this prevent weight gain, but it would encourage weight loss and a host of other health benefits as well.2 Read on!
This study followed 22 adults for 52 days starting just before Thanksgiving and ending at New Year’s. Ten followed their regular diet as controls and the other 12 followed a calorie-restrictive diet (730 calories for two days plus a nutritional smoothie), followed by regular eating for five days.
After the 52-day study, the control group did not experience weight gain or loss, but there was a significant rise in fasting insulin, higher LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, and higher blood sugar, all factors linked to greater risk of insulin resistance and Metabolic Syndrome.
The two-day-per-week calorie-restrictive group experienced significant weight loss, a 13% increase in good HDL cholesterol, and a 22% decrease in triglycerides. This suggests that with just two days per week of calorie restriction during the holidays, not only can you prevent weight gain, but you can lose weight while promoting blood sugar and metabolic health benefits.
Here are 15 delicious 700-calorie meals that may whet your appetite this holiday season. Eat one of these meals midday and drink water or herb tea the rest of the day. Or split the meal into two or three meals for the two days of calorie restriction.3
- Chicken meatballs with quinoa + curried cauliflower
- Lentil ragu
- Mild chili + bean pasta bake
- Creamy pasta with asparagus + peas
- Spring chicken paella
- Pesto-crusted cod with puy lentils
- Stuffed pumpkin
- One-pot chicken pilaf
- Cheesy tuna pesto pasta
- One-pot roast pork chops with fennel + potatoes
- One-pan tikka salmon with jeweled rice
- 5-a-day chicken with kale + pistachio pesto
- Veggie protein chili
- Vegetable tagine with apricot quinoa
- Black bean tostadas with avocado salsa
Consider an Ayurvedic Cleanse to Shed Those Pounds!
The ancient wisdom of Ayurveda employed detox strategies that combined calorie restriction with digestive resetting to continually reset the body’s natural health-promoting ability to burn fat as a primary source of fuel, rather than mostly or only carbs and sugar.
Longevity studies support an 800-calorie diet for four to five days to support stem cell production and autophagy, the cellular cleansing and repair process encouraged by eating less.
Our four-day Short Home Cleanse and five-day Kaya Kalpa Cleanse (both free eBooks) mimic longevity science to best detox, lose weight, and reset digestive function while increasing stem cells and autophagy.
Let us know how your holidays go this year—we’re rooting for your health!