By J. Michael Zenn
Author of The Self Health Revolution
Most people know America is facing a "diabesity tsunami" (diabetes plus obesity). I don't want to be a Grinch, but the truth is 70 percent of Americans are overweight-and almost 40 percent of us are obese and diabetic or pre-diabetic. That's a 25 percent increase in only 3 years. How could this be?
We Never Lose the Weight We Gain During the Holidays
What most people don't know is that nearly 60 percent of our annual weight gain happens over a 6-week period every year: Thanksgiving to Christmas to New Year's. During this very short, six-week time frame, most of us gain 3 to 5 pounds. Come March, despite New Year's resolutions, the excess weight is still with us. In fact, the data shows that we typically never lose the weight we gain over the holiday season.
Here's the punchline: Unless you do something differently, this Christmas you're probably going to add 3 to 5 pounds to your waistline-and you're not likely to ever get rid of it! Strapping on this weight every year during the six weeks of Christmas is a major reason we find ourselves overweight, obese, or chronically ill at some point in our lifetime.
The Good News
I realize the holiday season should be a carefree time of food, friends, fellowship, and fun. Most of us (including me) would prefer not to spend it burdened with trying to be a health nut. The good news is you don't have to be a health nut in order to be healthy.
Acquiring a Self-Health Defense Strategy during the six weeks of Christmas will likely protect you from threat of weight gain, obesity, diabetes, and chronic illness throughout your lifetime.
Four years ago, I found a simple strategy to fend off these Christmas demons for good. Using this technique, I was able to lose 60 pounds and keep it off with very little effort. There is much more detail in my book, The Self Health Revolution, but here are a few of the strategies that really work.
Practice the Art of Self-Health Aikido
Aikidō: This Japanese martial art involves taking advantage of the attacker's force and momentum by redirecting it in your favor (and requires very little strength to do).
5 Christmas Aikido Moves
1. Feed Your Body First
No matter what happen to consume at any given holiday sprawl always feed your body first. Give your body what it needs first and you will be amazed to find you're not nearly vulnerable to the crazy holiday cravings and glutinous gorging that everyone else falls prey to when feasting.
First thing in the morning on feast day, make a Self Health Holiday Smoothie. It takes less than 15 minutes and it instantly gives your body over 100 powerful plant nutrients.
-Drink the Self Health Holiday Smoothie first thing before your day of feasting.
-It's guaranteed to control holiday cravings and glutinous gorging.
-Eat guilt-free, because you have already given your body something awesome.
2. Use a Smaller Plate
Since 1950 our plates have grown from 10 inches to over 14 inches today and our holiday plates are even larger. Why are we eating so much more?
We suffer from holiday food cravings and binges because our bodies are literally starving for more nutrients. Cheaper, processed, fake foods are stripped and sucked dry of these necessary nutrients. In an attempt to make up for this emptiness, our bodies must consume massive volumes of fake foods.
Self Health Christmas Aikido is about learning to consume much more powerful, nutrient-dense foods, so your body is not forced to eat quite as much in order to feel satisfied.
-We eat 30 percent more today: Grandma's plates were 10 inches vs. the standard 14 inches now. We have been taught to eat until the plate runs out. -Studies have shown that if you eat 30 percent less you will live 30 percent longer (eating is the most stressful thing we do to our bodies).
-Okinawans, the oldest humans on Earth say "Hara Harchi bu," meaning eat until you're 80 percent full.
3. Fill Up On Living Foods First
-Fill up on "living foods" first (less-processed, healthier foods) like salads, whole grains, grass-fed meats, and vegetable dishes.
-Go for "dead foods" last (e.g. processed, cooked turkey, stuffing, and deserts).
-Living vs. dead (the 80/20 rule): Ask yourself "What's living or what's dead on my plate?"
4. Don't Make Any Food Off Limits
-Taste anything and everything (bite-sized samples are OK-just don't gorge)
-Tasting is what makes the holidays great and you don't want to feel like you have missed out.
-Forbidding yourself something just makes you want it more. When you finally give in, you tend to go nuts!
5. Remember, You Are What You Eat... Eats!
-Keep in mind that what this animal or plant that you are eating has been eating. Whatever it's been eating you will also end up eating.
-Much of our meat is from drugged, sick, poisoned, obese animals raised on factory farms I call "concentration camps."
-Seek out animals and plants that were raised as naturally and as close to the ground as possible. Their health will become your health.
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