Healthy, High Fat Holidays: Your Ticket to Easily Navigating the Season
Fact: 80% of Americans will pack on an additional 7 – 10 pounds between today and New Year’s Day (1).
Fact: Over 2/3 of all packaged products which comprise 90% of what Americans eat on a daily basis contain added, hidden sugars… and this isn’t even factoring in all those extra temptations that seem to appear all over the place at this time of year, from cookies to candies to fluffy holiday cocktails (2).
Fact: More than half of Americans, two-thirds of whom are obese, already want to shed at least 10 pounds but for fear of feeling deprived during the holidays, opt to shrug their shoulders, ‘eat whatever they want without consequence’ and deal with it in the New Year (3).
There’s common thread at the bottom of this dilemma and it can be described in one simple word:
We’re told it’s ok in moderation, yet it’s been shown to be more addictive than heroin and cocaine.
For many who have already recognized an addiction to this opiate like substance, it’s a constant struggle to attempt to eat a properly balanced, nutrient-dense diet without feel as thorough they’re missing out or simply going hungry all day long.
And for those who’ve not yet recognized this as the root of their food and subsequent health concerns, the lack of awareness is an even bigger problem yet.
Up that fat.
Most simply put, by making a shift in the macronutrients of what we’re eating away from the recommended 70% from grain-based carbs (which are specifically listed in a separate category from healthy, complex carbs in the form of fresh veg), and more in favor of naturally occurring (*NOT man made) fats, we allow our bodies the opportunity to become more satiated, absorb more nutrients and rely on the cleaner burning fuel that fat truly is (4).
Why do this?
First and foremost for the purposes of the topic of this article, imagine how it would feel to easily navigate through the holidays, turning down cookies, cakes and candy left and right not because you have the will powder of a super hero, but because you truly do not want them.
Sound like a dream?
It can easily become your reality, and the benefits of doing so extend far beyond just not packing on more pounds before the new year./
LIST BENEFITS OF FAT ADAPTION. CITE
Are there any drawbacks?
Not when done properly, for most.
However, as with every approach to eating, there are always exceptions to the rule; those who are recovering from any kind of trauma, pregnant or breastfeeding, or who have autoimmune or thyroid issues may need to tread a bit more lightly in terms of how low to go with carbohydrate consumption as well as how many days per week two go ultra high fat (it behooves us all to cycle it and not try to ‘be keto’ indefinitely). CITE
So how can one get started?
- Cut out the potentially inflammatory foods, including grains, beans, white sugar and dairy
- Increase consumption of fresh, in season local veggies (don’t make the mistake of avoiding all carbs, especially those from veggies; many veggies are low net carb and omitting them completely sets you up for the risk of low to no fiber intake, thus compromising regular digestive function. When followed properly, one should experience an increase in bowel movements as well as stool quality. Not eliminating at least on a daily basis is not normal, not ok and a huge red flag that seething it off).
- Don’t be afraid of fat. This is a big one. Source your fats properly and balance them. Organic avocado, coconut oil and olive oil every day. Mindfully sourced animal fats used regularly and raw sprouted nuts used in moderation so long as you’re not following an AIP or thyroid protocol.
- Don’t make the mistake of trying to be high fat and then not eating enough of it! While you’re likely to end up intaking overall less calories due to being far more satiated, proactively avoiding fat to keep calories low is not the way to go.
- Moderate portions of mindfully sourced proteins. High fat is not to be confused with high protein; two completely different approaches. Use the size of the palm of your hand as a reference point and vary between sources such as wild salmon, black cod or trout, grass fed and finished beef, wild bison and game and pastured raised pork for example.
- Find your balance and check yourself to make sure you’re on the right path. It’s expected to feel different as you transition but that must not be confused with feeling too hungry, dizzy, low energy or uncomfortable.
And how about those holidays?
Find your balance by integrating higher fat options into the routine in order to balance out overall glycemic load of the entire event’s meal.
For example: you’re out at the office’s holiday party and really fancy having a drink or two with your coworkers.
Keep on point all day long. Get your sweat on, stay hydrated and plan our your copious veggies, ample fat and proper proteins for meals 1,2 and 3 or perhaps just 1 and 2 if you’re in the midst of a day or two of an IF.
Choose your drink from those which are least likely to steer you back down the carbohydrate path, such as a neat, grain-free spirits. (I tend to go for mezcal (5) these days).
Then, keep it to one or two (do you really want to risk a hangover and pay the consequences all day long tomorrow?).
The simply combination of cleaning it up, creating a balanced eating plan you can follow, effective immediately that feels sustainable (and not diet-like, leading to want you to ‘cheat’ (how old school)), is not only easler than you might think, once higher fat parlays itself into the mix, it can be the most enjoyable way of eating you may ever have experiences.
Stay tuned for plenty more healthy holiday tips to keep you on track, effective immediately throughout the entire holiday season.