EAT THE COOKIE, DITCH THE GUILT & WEIGHTNov 17, 2023
The holiday season is upon us, bringing joy, celebration, and often a plethora of tempting treats. Just the thought of this “season of food” can trigger PTSD for those who struggle with hormonal balance and weight gain. The result is often one of two outcomes; deciding to “not care”, indulging in anything an everything while stuffing down the guilt and telling yourself you'll deal with it in January. Or, a full-on boycott avoiding any holiday indulgence while withdrawing from all gatherings to prevent temptation. If either of these struck a nerve or sounds like someone you know, keep reading. There is a solution.
As you navigate your way through office parties, cookie exchanges, and family gatherings, I want you to remember two very important things; 1. Food fuels your body, but it also fuels your soul and you need both in order to live a happy, healthy, balanced life physically, mentally, and emotionally. 2. It is possible to indulge and enjoy those holiday treats, while keeping hormones in check and without sabotaging your weight goals.
Our bodies are intricate systems of hormones working in harmony to regulate various functions, from mood and energy levels to metabolism. During the holidays, stress, guilt around food, and disrupted sleep can throw these hormones off balance, leading to fatigue, irritability, hormonal imbalance and unwanted weight gain. Let's talk about what you can do when it comes to food to help mitigate that stress, guilt and weight gain.
Blood sugar stabilization as the cornerstone for hormonal balance. The food we eat plays a pivotal role in managing blood sugar levels. For example grabbing a sugar cookie off the staff-room table causes a rapid spike in blood sugar where your body now wants to store fat, followed shortly by a crash where your body needs to burn muscle for fuel because the cookie, a carb, alone could not sustain it. Having that same cookie together with a clean protein and healthy fat, actually creates hormonal balance and stabilizes blood sugar so your body can release stored fat, not save it.
Carbs are not your enemy, they're your energy and you need them. Am I saying choosing sugar cookies over fruits and veggies at every meal is the best carb choice? No. I am saying that as long as you fuel your body more often than you fuel your soul, you'll be able to enjoy the holidays and the treats without the PTSD, hormonal fallout or weight gain.
Every food on the planet can be categorized as a protein, fat or carb. And when you put them together in the right portions and right frequency throughout the day, it creates hormonal balance and stabilizes blood sugar, metabolism is fired up, energy increases, sleep improves, increased concentration and focus to name a few. Eating PFCs is actually the way we were all born into eating. It's your body's love language.
Protein helps to satiate and stabilize blood sugar. Fats are great for your brain and also slows digestion to prevent blood sugar spikes and crashes. Carbs, especially whole, unprocessed fruits and veggies give you energy and add fibre for digestion and removing toxins. Adding a brisk, 20 min walk directly after eating will also help lower blood sugar. A great tip to remember for after any meal, especially the time you grab the cookie and forget the protein.
And be choosy. When you choose to have a treat (and I highly recommend you do indulge during special celebrations) make sure it's something you've really been looking forward to having. Maybe it's something your mom only makes at Christmas, or it's something you've never tried but always wanted to, or it's your absolute favourite, you get the idea. Studies show that those who are choosy eat slower and savour that treat, are satisfied with a smaller portion, tend not to go back for seconds (because nothing else compares to your favouite anyway, right?) and don't feel guilty afterwards. A huge win.
Every celebration, special occasion, or life event is celebrated with food. Memories are made around the table. It's time to ditch the guilt, shame, regret, pull up a seat and start making holiday memories you'll look back on and smile.
For more information on how to stabilize blood sugar and balance hormones, watch Tania's free video.