December 16th, 2021

With ‘silly’ season in full swing, we entertain more, eat more, drink more and sit around more while socializing, eating, drinking, and of course, sunbathing! With all this debauchery, it is no wonder that it is common to gain a few pounds at this time of the year!

While not all weight gain is bad, too much weight gain over a short period of time can make it increasingly more difficult to lose weight in the future. So, let’s look at my top tips to start the New Year off a little lighter, instead of regretful.

Firstly; I would have to start with portion control and mindful eating. This sounds obvious however, many of us tend to overload your plates during the holiday season, leaving us feeling bloated and low in energy. There are some easy solutions to this problem:

·       Serve yourself on a smaller plate; when the plate fits less food, we tend to eat less. We may still eat everything on it, but there is less there to begin with!

·       Eat slowly and focus on the food you are eating and think of all the wonderful ways these foods can nourish your body and chew, chew, chew, and do not swallow until you feel the food is very broken down.

·       Use your own hands as portion guides; keep in mind that the size of your stomach is about the size of your fist, which stretches with food. The more food you fill it with, the more stretching will happen which in the long term can lead to unwanted weight gain. As a guide, use the size and thickness of the palm of your hand to measure your protein portion, make a cupped handful (or two) for your vegetable portion, and a fist for complex carbohydrates if needed, and a thumb for healthy fats. 

Secondly; to avoid over indulging at every meal time with all the delicious food offered, I like to use this rule; with every meal add at least one fruit or vegetable to ensure that not only do you have more fiber to fill you faster so that you are not tempted to eat too much of the ‘unhealthier’ foods, but also to ensure you are consuming antioxidants and vitamins at every meal! 

Thirdly; I know you will drink alcohol, so instead of me saying don’t drink alcohol, because let’s be honest you probably won’t listen – let’s just use this rule I have. For every serving of alcohol – beer, wine or spirits have 1 cup of water. So before grabbing another beer or pouring another glass of chilled chardonnay, drink a full cup of water. This can benefit you in many ways; drinking water will not only fill your stomach so that you will not feel like drinking as much, but it can also slow down your drinking allowing that lovely liver of yours to do its job faster to detox the alcohol you are dinking. And of course, because alcohol has a dehydrating effect on the body, when you drink that glass of water you are preventing the severity of the hangover and you may feel a lot better with yourself afterwards! 

Lastly; do some light exercise daily. I know, exercise when you’re on holiday, really!? However, all I am saying is get your family and friends together and play an active game together, or go for a walk and chat, find a fun hike, or even go for a swim, doing a few laps or treading in the water moving your arms and legs, that’s all it takes! 


With these top tips, you may be pleasantly surprised to step on a scale after the New Year, and instead of thinking “oh no, I shouldn’t have had that extra serving or two…” you can think “I enjoyed the ‘silly’ season with family friends, good food and libations and have no regrets!” 

For more individualized information for enhanced weight loss and improved health, I welcome you to visit me at my clinic in Bucerias. Please stay safe over the ‘silly’ season, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all.

Christmas Fruit Punch/ Ponche Navideño

Serves 4

1.5 L of Water

4 Tejocotes (Mexican Hawthorn)

1 Sugar Cane 

1/4 cup Tamarind Pods

1 Cinnamon Stick

4 Whole Cloves

4 Jamaica flowers (Dried Hibiscus)


3 Guavas

1 Apple

1 Pear

6 Prunes (pitted)

1 Orange 

½ Cone Piloncillo (Whole sugar cane)


Place the water, tamarind (husks and seeds removed), cinnamon stick, cloves, jamaica flowers, sugar cane cut in 4, and whole tejocotes, in a large pot and bring to the boil. When it starts to boil, lower the heat and simmer for 20minutes until the tejocotes are soft. Strain the liquid and separate the solids.


Remove the tejocotes cut in half and remove the skin, seeds and ends, and place back into the pot. Remove the sugar cane to add to the cup when serving, discard the rest.


Chop the fruit into bite sized pieces and add the guavas, apple, pear, sugar cane, prunes, slice the orange and add in and add the piloncillo to the sweetness you desire. Then simmer for a further 10mins, stirring occasionally.


Ladle the ponche into cups, making sure each cup gets some chunks of fruit, and place a piece of sugar cane into the cup for decoration.


If you are feeling naughty you can add shot of tequila or brandy per cup!