COLORADO SPRINGS — If you frequently find yourself in a cycle of gaining weight through the holidays and then having to throw yourself on a new year's diet to undo the damage, here's some advice on how to break that cycle.
Dr. Kristen Kells, D.C., B.S.c. owns Dr. Kells' Weight Loss in Colorado Springs. She and her team work closely with their patients, on a day by day basis, if needed, to help them form a healthy relationship with food.
Dr. Kells says when it comes to holidays, “It's our mindset, it's all planning and preparing through the holidays. If you don't plan it will be just like it was last year or the year before - and how did that work for you?”
If it worked out well for you, then you are likely in a good place when it comes to your relationship with food. However, for many of us, this time of year is full of more tempting foods being around. It begins with Halloween candy in October, followed by Thanksgiving and Christmas treats and feasts in November and December.
It’s a reality Dr. Kells says she and her team work to realistically prepare their patients for.
“As we head into the holidays there are additional challenges. I am not a “Pollyanna” there really are. We do a lot of work with our people around the holidays and into January. We are starting a series where we walk them through and give them guides and coaching around this time of year. We want to arm them with resources.”
Dr. Kells says one strategy we can all employ is to focus on what the holidays really mean to you. “Instead of saying to ourselves I'm going to resist this food or that, step back and ask yourself what do you want the holidays to actually mean? I don't want to have my face down in food during the holidays, and believe me I can do it, I've done it. Then the holidays become thinking about the bars my aunts make, instead of focusing on being with my family. I want to focus on being with my family, I want to sit in reflection and gratitude.”
Dr. Kells also says to remember that a healthy lifestyle and relationship with food isn't framed around extremes of restraint or indulgence. Of being on a strict diet or free for all of eating whatever looks good to you anytime. If you can find an overall balance through the year that will allow for some holiday enjoyment.
Dr. Kells says, “We help people reframe how the holidays look, and not to have dread or shame. The cool thing is no one is coming to save us, we make our own health choices in life. So if we want to plan for the holidays and say, ‘I'm going to do this on thanksgiving, I'm going to do this on Christmas day, and I'm going to do this on New Year's and I'm going to do this on Halloween,’ - that's great. That's four days, and you can even stretch it and say a week of some indulgence through the holidays, it's not three straight months of indulgence.”
Remember, make a plan not just for the holiday feasts, but that includes everyday of your life of fueling your body in healthy ways and you really can enjoy all the foods and flavors the holidays and gathering with family has to offer.
Dr. Kells’ Weight Loss is a proud sponsor of Your Healthy Family