Do you become nervous thinking about attending holiday parties, just in case you can't resist all of the goodies at the table? You are not alone. An average of 5 lbs is gained over the holiday season from all of the extra treats and larger portions. After relaxing and having some fun, dropping the weight in the New Year can be stressful. Here are some tips to help you have fun and avoiding a bloated tummy!
Drink 8 glasses of naturally ‘flavoured’ water each and every day during the holidays. When you give your body all the water it could ask for, it gets rid of what it doesn't need. It sheds the water it was holding onto in your ankles and your hips and thighs, and maybe even around your belly. You also excrete much more than water. You are cleansing your body, taking the stress off your liver and other detoxification organs. Your will learn to trust that it doesn't need to hold on to excess fluid (called edema) anymore. Fluid retention is alleviated, as stored water is lost. This water shedding is often referred to as the "breakthrough point."
Your brain cannot tell the difference between hunger and thirst, so most of the time when you think you are hungry, you are really thirsty. Water is a natural appetite suppressant. If you feel thirsty, you're already becoming dehydrated, so sipping throughout the day is best. When you drink all the water you need, you will very quickly notice a decrease in your appetite, possibly even on the first day!
If you think water is just plain & boring, you are not alone. Try using some fun, natural flavours that will encourage you to drink up. A squeeze of lemon or lime, or a splash of pure berry juice, brightens up the taste of water. Adding some berries or other fruit chunks will make it taste, and feel, even more festive.
Fibre could be described as 'carbohydrates that you can’t digest'. Because you lack the enzymes to break down fibre, fibre fills you up and controls hunger. It's a must for maintaining blood sugar balance because it slows down the absorption of any sugar or starch that is ingested with it.
Instead of looking at the total grams of carbs in a meal, it has become popular to look at “net carbs” – the number of carbohydrates minus the fibre and sugar alcohols. The ‘net’ carbohydrate value of a food simply refers to the amount of digestible carbohydrate that a product contains.
Try this delicious high-fibre shake before leaving for your next holiday party!
In a study in the journal Nutrition & Metabolism, J. Reinholz and colleagues suggest that your brain uses dopamine to tell your body when to stop eating. Thus, if you have a genetic predisposition to low dopamine levels, it may play a role in you overeating.
Protein-rich foods promote dopamine :
For a mouth-watering treat, click here for the recipe for my festive Healthy Holiday Chocolate Bark.