I don’t know about you, but this is my favorite time of the year! It is hands-down the best season for food, friends, and fashion. Starbucks has unleashed their calorie-dense winter lattes and “chicken nuggets” everywhere are climbing onto the holiday treat bandwagon. From cookies and pies to high-calorie hot chocolates and puddings, how can we avoid temptation and look great on New Year’s Eve?
Personally, I don’t believe in the “sweater weather” weight gain that is expected every winter. Just because we have cozier clothing options it doesn’t mean we should hit up Johnny Rockets every day. Especially in Kuwait, warm weather creeps back on us almost as quickly as it slips away. Winter can actually be your most powerful weapon in losing weight if you take advantage of it. Start counting down to the 31st because this is the best time to get in tip-top shape. Let’s review two of the ‘habba’ or fad diets going on at the moment.
Clean eating. You have probably seen this phrase a million times on Instagram and all over the web with delicious looking posts. What does clean eating actually mean? It just means avoiding processed foods, sugars and white carbs and sticking to wholesome, natural foods. This diet allows you to eat meat and even grains, as long as they are whole grains (think brown rice and wholegrain bread). Try to include as many veggies as you can and enjoy protein-rich foods like eggs and lean beef. There are so many recipes you can follow with this diet since it only really removes chemicals and processed foods from your life, which you should try to do anyway.
Paleo. Everyone in Kuwait has heard of this diet by now because you are either obsessed with it yourself or you know someone that is. Even Prime & Toast have added a Paleo page to their menu, which I thought was great! For those of you that don’t know, Paleo is commonly referred to as the ‘cave man diet’ because it includes foods that can be hunted (meat) and gathered (fruit and nuts). To me, this is just a variation of Atkins with a higher carb intake that comes from the fruit and nuts. The diet is so popular that if you want to follow it, there are tons of Paleo-approved baking recipes to try out for all you kitchen connoisseurs. What’s the main difference between Paleo and clean eating? Basically it’s the exclusion of grains, dairy, and cheese from the Paleo diet. If you are a sucker for carbs and dairy, this one is going to be tough for you!
What I would recommend is try to eat healthy most of the time and avoid carbs like bread and rice whenever possible. People usually think carbs are only found in bread, pasta and rice but they are actually everywhere, like in salad dressings, fruit and nuts so you are not actually depriving yourself completely. Another helpful hint that people are starting to swear by is a blood test called the Food Print test, which tells you which foods you have an intolerance towards. It is very specific and gives points for which things you should absolutely avoid. For example, one of my friends did this test and found that he had an extremely high intolerance for almonds. When your intolerance is high for a certain food that you consumer regularly, simply cutting it out can have a huge effect on your weight because your body does not digest it well enough. There are several hospitals and clinics that now do this test in Kuwait, including Seif Hospital and the German Clinic.
Other than food, make sure you sweat it out this winter! Nothing feels better than a great workout and it’s a good time to try different classes in the gym and see which ones suit you. If you’re most outdoorsy, take advantage of the weather and go for a run at one of the mamshas or walkways in Kuwait. Sometimes there’s nothing more therapeutic than fresh air, sneakers and your favorite tunes. Eating healthy and working out this December will get you into that glittery dress in no time.
Happy New Years everyone!