It’s that time of year again! The holidays are just around the corner with lots of festivities, fun, and food for us to savor! So today, we’re sharing health tips to help you get the most out of holidays — without the worry of gaining weight! Here at Silicon Valley Natural Health, we’ve put together a handy list of 12 tips that can help you maintain your weight during the season:

1. Eat slow and chew your food thoroughly. It’s the holidays, so enjoy yourself by taking the time to savor the food you do eat. By chewing your food slowing and thoroughly, you’ll allow your body the time it needs to tell you when you’re full—so you’ll eat less as well.

2. Eat only when you’re hungry. When everyone’s bring food into the office at all hours, and access to holiday food is non-stop at home, it’s often hard to resist the temptation to snack. So when these festive opportunities come up, make sure you ask yourself “Is my stomach hungry? Or are my eyes hungry?” If it’s your stomach, then by all means, enjoy the food—just pay attention when you start to feel full. That’s when it’s time to stop.

3. Watch your food portions. Since the holidays often present a variety of high-caloric foods, it’s even more important to watch your food portions. If you’re going to try everything at the parties you go to, go for smaller portions as if you’re eating just an appetizer. And, try to avoid going back for seconds!

4. Eat warm food instead of cold food. In Chinese culture, cold food is thought to slow down your digestion system, so it’s better to stick to warm foods and liquids. For instance, drinking warm water is considered better for your health. Soups and cooked foods, with the addition of warming spices, such as pepper and ginger can help you keep your metabolism up, too.

5. Eat foods that are full of “Chi” or “Qi”. These terms refer to a living thing’s life energy. So this means eating more natural food, such as vegetables, organic meat, juices and nuts. It also means avoid refined, artificial and processed foods that are made by companies—not naturally grown on the land. You’ll feel more energized and ready to take on more in the world—which can help you maintain and even lose weight.

{Fun Fact: It takes approximately eight minutes of walking or four minutes of running to burn off the calories in 5 tablespoons of gravy.}

6. Try not to eat past 6pm. When you eat late in the day or evening, you may not be able to burn all the calories you’ve consumed. Sleeping on a full stomach will then most likely lead to weight gain, so avoid eating late as much as possible.

7. Drink green tea. According to Chinese medicine, green tea offers many benefits when it comes to helping maintain or lose weight. According to research, this tea has an extract that helps reduce, or burn off, the fat—which is call fat oxidation. Try replacing sugary drinks and coffee with green tea and you’ll also consume fewer calories!

8. Move, move, move that body! Of course, maintaining weight is about how much physical exercise you do compared to how much food you intake during the holidays. So, do yourself a favor and take the stairs instead of the elevators. Take walks around the neighborhood. You can even multi-task—for example, you can do a walk and talk with a colleague to get some professional networking in. At the very least, do some stretching every morning. The goal is to get your body’s energy, “Qi” or “Chi” flowing as well as your metabolism. You’ll feel better all around!

9. Get enough sleep. It’s more important than you think! In a recent study, participants were randomly assigned to sleep either 5.5 hours or 8.5 hours each night for 14 days, while on a moderate diet. Compared with participants who slept 8.5 hours per night, participants who slept only 5.5 hours lost 55% less body fat. So get enough sleep, and even your body can help you maintain your weight!

10. Sleep at a reasonable time. Better yet, make sure you get to bed early enough to get your body to work for you in other ways. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), our bodies detoxify around 11pm. So make sure you try to get to bed at least around 9:30 PM or 10:00 PM to help your metabolism work its best for you.

11. Try herbal medicine. In Chinese medicine, herbs have been used for thousands of years to help all kinds of health conditions. For example, bee pollen has been used stimulate the metabolism, and fennel has been used to help suppress appetites. To find out what herbal remedies would work best for you, we recommend you consult a top naturopathic doctor who knows Traditional Chinese Medicine, like Dr. Julie Tran-Olive in San Jose, CA. She has extensive experience in recommending herbal treatments that can help individuals maintain or lose weight.

12. Try an acupuncture treatment. Last but not least, acupuncture offers many benefits that can help you maintain or lose weight. For starters, acupuncture has been known to help reduce stress, improve digestion, boost your metabolism and much more—all which are key areas that affect your weight. Acupuncture works by stimulating key acupuncture points that are found throughout the body—treatments help stimulate stagnate “QI” or “CHI”, helping the body regain its natural flow of energy. If you’d like to see what acupuncture can do for you, please contact Dr. Julie Tran-Olive, who is also a licensed acupuncturist who specializes in weight management.

Here’s to your health!
We hope you keep these simple tips in mind this holiday season! By taking the time to be more conscious of how, what and where you’re eating, you’ll dramatically improve your ability to prevent holiday weight gain—and be that much more ahead for your New Year’s Resolution to Lose Weight!


If you’d like to make an appointment with Dr Julie Tran-Olive, call (408) 792-7229 today.