NATURAL MEDICINE: Halt the Holiday Pounds

By on November 17, 2015

Tips to minimize overindulgence during the most gluttonous holidays of the year.

Eating your way through the holiday season can be done sensibly  without a January crash diet.

Eating your way through the holiday season can be done sensibly without a January crash diet.

Jackson, WY – The holidays are a notoriously difficult time to avoid putting on extra pounds. Holiday parties with friends revolve around food and drink. And let’s face it: they’re a blast. I don’t intend to miss any this year, and I doubt you do either. Let’s figure out how to have some fun without ending up in drastic diet mode come January. Remember, it’s a lot easier to avoid gaining weight than it is to lose it.

Here are some things you can do before a holiday party to avoid trouble.

Don’t arrive hungry

If it happens, load your plate with vegetables — this bulk will help you feel full. Then eat only a little of your favorites, be it the red meat or carbs.

Beware of the sweet stuff

When it comes to eating sweets and dessert, follow one rule: don’t eat wheat or dairy. How do you do that?  If there is pie, just eat the inside. Dark chocolate is your friend, in fact, I have a thin friend who always has individually wrapped dark chocolates in her purse. When we go out to lunch, she hands me a chocolate — 60 calories — and we skip dessert.

Attempt only two

Some people tell me “I’m not a sugar person” without realizing how much sugar they get in liquid form. This holiday season remain cognizant of how many drinks you are consuming, and try, if possible to have only two when you’re at a celebration. The problem is that after two, your stomach can become irritated, revving your appetite back up. Instead of eating, opt for sparkling water or a mocktail. Enlist a friend to join you in drinking less — these things are always easier with a wingman.

Pace yourself

I remember researching weight loss when I first started practicing naturopathic medicine 20 years ago. One of the most valuable pieces of information I gleaned was to pace yourself. If you know you have a party in the evening, eat lightly at breakfast and lunch. Don’t starve yourself. Some great light meals include celery with almond butter, or an egg with spinach for breakfast and a salad or vegetable soup with a little protein for lunch. If you know there is a lunch party, eat lightly for the other two meals. This is how thin people stay thin.

Supplements to aid the battle

Studies say that digestive enzymes that help your system break down food will help with weight loss. Beneficial bacteria decrease yeast and other pathogenic organisms. If you crave sugar more than normal, it could be an overgrowth of yeast. Taking a probiotic will decrease the yeast.  Alpha-Lipoic Acid in tablet form has been shown to significantly increase weight loss for people on a low-calorie diet.

Drink water

Lastly, make sure you drink enough water throughout the day. Half of your body weight in ounces of water in a day is a great goal to shoot for. In a study published in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, overweight patients who drank 17 ounces of water, three times per day, half an hour before meals, lost weight. A study from the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism showed that drinking water increased metabolism 30 percent. Sometimes the feeling of hunger can mask what is actually dehydration.
I hope this information is helpful. I’ve found that just being aware can decrease the possibility of putting on those extra pounds. PJH

A 15-year Jackson resident, Monique Lai, ND is an alternative health expert with a family practice where she works with patients to restore their health. She obtained her doctorate in naturopathic medicine from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in 1996. Monique enjoys working with a variety of health challenges, particularly autoimmune disease, thyroid disease, digestive disorders, menopause and diabetes. For more info visit

About Dr. Monique Lai

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