Ask Dave

Embrace the Joy of Healthy Holiday Eating: Practical Tips for Savoring Festive Feasts

December 2023

The holiday season is a time of joy, togetherness, and, of course, delicious food. However, tempting platters of food, shorter days, and reduced physical activity can sometimes lead to overindulgence. However, rejoice in the fact that there's no need to let this become the norm. In this article, we'll explore practical tips for relishing holiday feasting with a positive and mindful approach. 

By embracing a balanced approach to holiday eating, we can curb both emotional and metabolic cues that may lead to overeating, ensuring a joyful and healthful holiday season. 

Instead of approaching holiday eating with restrictions, let's focus on the pleasure of savoring festive flavors while nourishing our well-being in a way where we can balance our eating and also savor the precious moments with loved ones to enjoy the season to its fullest. 

I love lists – and here are my key pointers to keep in mind as you anticipate the presence of food and drinks at gatherings, helping you aim for healthier eating: 

     1. Consume a meal beforehand that includes Protein.  Protein will help suppress your appetite, signaling your brain and stomach not to overeat. Protein boosts gut sensitivity through a hormone called Leptin, signaling your brain to eat less at the party. Protein also elevates your metabolism thermodynamically, unlike carbohydrates, which may perpetuate continuous eating. Protein induces a feeling of satiety that carbohydrates lack.

     2. Start snacking an hour before the gathering. Consider options like:

    • A glass of water or Green tea alongside protein sources:
    • Hard cheese + almonds (high in protein)
    • Beef, Salmon, or cold water fish (rich in healthy fats for a fuller feeling)
    • Egg with cottage cheese or flax + chia seeds
    • Whole fat plain yogurt with coconut flakes and macadamia nuts
    • Avocado + Cheddar cheese
    • Beef jerky
     3. Incorporate appetite-suppressing spices into your diet or prepare a small smoothie:
    • Fresh ginger or ginger tea
    • Cinnamon for appetite control
    • Turmeric in tea or sprinkled on protein sources
    • Cayenne or Capsaicin (peppers) for a thermogenic effect
    • For an even more nutrient-packed and appetite-satisfying smoothie, add Hawaiian Spirulina. This natural superfood is rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and protein, making it a smart choice for enhancing your smoothie's nutritional value and satisfying your hunger.

     4. Limit or avoid these items during the holidays:
    • Monitor alcohol intake. Opt for lower sugar options like gin, vodka, or dark red wines, and limit the frequency of drinks.
    • Eliminate juices or sweetened beverages, both with and without alcohol.
    • Reduce consumption of breaded food items and crackers, opting for protein-rich choices like salmon or shrimp instead.
    • Save desserts for the end of your meal, preceded by protein consumption and adequate hydration. 

Lastly, intermittent fasting can be a valuable tool and works by refraining from eating for 16 hours after your last evening meal. Always consult with your doctor to see if this approach is suitable for you, especially during the holiday season when it can be particularly helpful. When you do break your fast, start with a protein-rich meal to aid in metabolizing the previous day's indulgences. 

Share your experience with these holiday eating tips, and remember that small steps go a long way in maintaining your well-being – and most importantly, as you embark on this journey towards healthier holiday feasting, don't forget to savor the precious moments with loved ones. 

Best regards,

Dave Scott

Dave's Top Product Pick! Use Code: DAVE for 25% Off

Dave Scott 6X IRONMAN® World Champion

Dave Scott 6X IRONMAN® World Champion, Health Professional, & Master Coach

Meet Dave Scott

Dave Scott is a legend in the triathlon world. He is one of the most recognized athletes and coaches in the sport of triathlon. He is a six-time IRONMAN® World Champion and the first inductee into the IRONMAN® Hall of Fame. Dave’s career in triathlon began with the inception of the sport in 1976. He won his first IRONMAN World Championship in 1980 and went on to win again in 1982, 1983, 1984, 1986 and 1987.

Dave currently devotes his time educating and inspiring athletes of all abilities and ages, leading sport camps, clinics and races across the country and running his own training group in Boulder, Colorado. His business, Dave Scott, Inc. offers individual and group fitness and nutrition consultations as well as corporate and triathlon club speaking engagements and clinics. Email Dave at info@davescottinc.com or Visit Dave's Website.

If you have a health question for Dave, please submit it here!

* This is not meant to be medical advice. Consult your healthcare provider before starting a new diet, exercise or health program.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.