Banish Holiday Cravings

What I love (and hate!) about the holidays is the food – fudge, eggnog, stuffing, mashed potatoes, candied yams, dips and chips, and delectable seasonal treats. It’s all so tempting and enjoyable, but afterwards it seems like we spend months trying to diet and work off the resulting extra pounds.

I’ll be the first to tell you it’s healthy to do some feasting over the holidays. It’s not time to start full force on a weight-loss diet. Nor do you want to show up in your party dress bursting at the seams. You want to enjoy a balance between enjoying holiday fare and not overindulging on it.

What follows is a crash course on how to curb your cravings while enjoying some treats in moderation.

The road to a healthy life
  • Stay Keto-Green® most of the time. 

My diet has a ketogenic component. Research has shown that low-carbohydrate keto diets reduce hunger and lower food intake significantly more than medium-carb non-ketogenic diets. So when you plan Keto-Green meals, visualize your plate two-thirds filled with alkalinizing veggies (lots of greens and other low-calorie vegetables; a middle circle with healthy fats like avocado, olives, nuts, or seeds; and the rest filled with protein such as poultry, meat, or fish. This way of eating keeps your blood sugar steady all day so that you avoid cravings. (My book The Hormone Fix tells you exactly how to eat the Keto-Green way.)

  • Practice intermittent fasting most days during the holidays. 

This is a fat-burning, health-building technique you can incorporate into your daily routine to help curb weight gain during the holidays. It’s super-easy, because we practice it already and don’t even realize it. It’s called sleeping! It involves going without food from the end of dinner the previous night to a later breakfast (or regular lunch) the next day – a period of about 13 to 16 hours. (I did a great Couch Talk with Dr. Mindy Pelz on How to Heal Your Body with Intermittent Fasting. Check it out!)

  • Break the fast with my cod liver challenge. 

This is a quick cure for cravings that I used in my clinical practice for years. Patients hated me at first, then loved me after they did this challenge. For background: when you crave sweets and carbs, this indicates that your body needs essential fatty acids. So, what I advise is that after 15 to 16 hours of intermittent fasting, you break your fast with my “cod liver elixir.” Pour four ounces of cod liver oil into a small glass (preferably cold). Squeeze a lemon or lime into the oil. Chug it down like a shot of tequila, then bite on a lemon or lime wedge. Wait an hour then eat a green salad. That’s it! You’re dousing your body with lots of omega-3 fats, plus vitamins A and D. Trust me, your cravings will stop. (Check out my Carb Curbing post and video on this cure.)

If you’re not up for cod liver oil, break your fast with Keto Coffee or Tea, which is a cup of brewed coffee or tea, with a tablespoon of MCT oil and a teaspoon of ghee mixed in.

  • Stay hydrated.

Thirst often masquerades as hunger, so drink plenty of water daily. My rule of thumb is this: Drink 60 to 70 ounces of pure water daily. Use common sense though, if you’re a marathoner competing in the heat you need more, and if you’re a sedentary worker indoors, you probably need less.

Oh – and you don’t get water credit for the tea, coffee, and other liquids you drink during the day. The required quantity has to come from pure filtered water. 

It’s also a bad idea to drink water with meals. Here’s why: Drinking fluids dilutes important digestive juices, as well as the enzymes required for good digestion. Saliva is all the water you need at meals! Alternatively, you can drink water up to 20 minutes before you eat a meal, and wait 1 to 2 hours afterward to drink more.

Stay hydrated. Glass filling up with water

  • Fill up before parties. 

Holiday social events can be our downfall. One way to stay the course is to eat something prior to the party. I suggest one of my Keto-Green Smoothies, made with 8 ounces of water, a scoop of my Keto-Alkaline® Protein Shake, and two scoops of Mighty Maca Plus. Add some avocado too for extra fat to fill you up.

  • Watch the alcohol. 

You don’t need to eliminate alcohol over the holidays; just keep an eye on how much you drink, since alcohol can actually increase your appetite and pack on pounds when consumed in excess. Some of the best choices are low-sugar wine, a wine spritzer, or low carb beer. If you like mixed drinks, avoid sugary mixers. Use club soda with a splash of lemon juice instead. Or try my Te-Keto Cocktail, made with 1 to 2 ounces of tequila or vodka and the juice of ½ of a lime. These spirits contain no carbs and will keep you in the fat-burning state of ketosis.

  • Enjoy feasting but know your limits. 

Occasional feasting is important! When the actual Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner rolls around, enjoy it. Both occasions are significant bonding experiences with family and friends, with everyone enjoying a beautiful meal and lingering at the dinner table for conversation. Just don’t overdo it. Try the Okinawan custom in which they stop their eating when their stomachs feel 80 percent full. (Be sure to see my post Fasting, mTOR, Autophagy … and the Importance of the Feast for details on all these important issues.)

When it comes to staying healthy and fit this season, it’s easy when you have a few tricks up the sleeves of your most flattering holiday clothes.


    P.S. - Feel light and refreshed with my Mighty Maca® Plus superfood green drink...

    It’s a tasty and easy-to-make way to stay slim and help reach your weight goals. Click here to experience the difference yourself!

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    Dr. Anna Cabeca

    Dr. Anna Cabeca

    Certified OB/GYN, Anti-Aging and Integrative Medicine expert and founder of The Girlfriend Doctor. During Dr. Anna’s health journey, she turned to research to create products to help thousands of women through menopause, hormones, and sexual health. She is the author of best-selling The Hormone Fix, and Keto-Green 16 and MenuPause.

    Learn more about my scientific advisory board.