Treat Yourself Without Gaining Weight This Holiday Season!

by ksteed
Treat Yourself Without Gaining Weight This Holiday Season!
To eat or not to eat … that is the question we ask the most during the holidays.  Is it better to stick to our diets or to allow ourselves a few morsels of culinary delights?  Dr. Michael Fenster, chef and practicing cardiologist, says absolutely not!  He says studies have shown that we do better on a diet or healthy eating program when we allow ourselves a bit of a treat.

“What makes the holiday season so difficult for so many people is that it is not just a weekend event like a Memorial Day backyard grill, but a non-stop barrage from October through January,” explains Fenster. “We are inundated with offerings everywhere; in the media, at workplace and every point in between. If we are not careful we can find ourselves caught back into a sugar-salt-fat vicious cycle.”
To allow for some culinary holiday cheer without falling into the abyss, Dr. Fenster recommends adapting some of Grassroots Gourmet principles to combat the holiday treat temptation:
•         Timing and Proportion: If you are attending holiday parties and plan to sample the wares, mark that time and place. Once you arrive and see what is offered, make your decision and pace yourself. Think of the treats the way you would a wine tasting; a little sample of this and a little sample of that spaced out over the course of the event. Allowing at least 15-20 minutes between samplings will allow time for your stomach to signal the brain you’ve eaten some yummies. Before you know it, you’ll feel satiated with a lot less than if you had come in and sampled everything all at once.
•         Be Fresh: Don’t be tempted by the pre-packaged offerings. These are not only often higher in calories but loaded with food and flavor modifiers. If you’re going indulge, hold out for that fresh, handmade treat--make it count!
•         Limit Your Exposure: There are plenty of enticements all around. Do not purchase pre-packaged treats to keep around the house. If it isn’t there, you can’t eat it.
During the holidays, Dr. Fenster also recommends that we plan to maintain our current weight, whatever that is, and not try to lose weight. “Enjoy the holidays in a guilt free fashion--that’s food for the soul! Consider not gaining excessive weight during the holidays as your goal and getting back to the exercise and weight loss after the New Year will be much easier.”
Michael Fenster, MD, is a Board Certified Interventional Cardiologist, currently on staff with the Cardiology Specialists of Florida at Hernando Heart Clinic. He has participated in numerous clinical trials and spoken nationally on a variety of cardiovascular topics to audiences ranging from lay public to peer presentations at the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology meetings. Michael Fenster combines his culinary talents and Asian philosophy with medical expertise, creating winning recipes for healthy eating. He is frequently asked to present live cooking demonstrations as well as giving numerous radio interviews on health and food shows both nationally and internationally. Michael is a certified wine professional and chef, receiving his culinary degree from Ashworth University where he graduated with honors.  To see cooking demonstrations with Michael Fenster and recipes, visit