Slimming down for the Holidays

Do you dread gaining 5-8 lbs over the holidays?
If so, you’re not alone. Holiday weight gain happens to the best of us. Here’s a great new strategy for holiday weight gain: get your best weight before the holidays start, not after!

The holidays are the perfect time of year to let loose and enjoy yourself — and you absolutely should! The good news is that you don’t have to gain a bunch of weight in the process. Here are my 5 quick tips to help you slim down before you indulge.

Do a 7 day pre-holiday detox

A 7-day detox can help you get your body ready for all those holiday goodies. A lot of common foods cause inflammation, which stresses your body and makes it harder for you to lose weight [1]. In the week leading up to your big holiday meal(s), stay away from the following foods:

  • Refined sugar causes inflammation, especially in your brain [2]. Removing sugar will make you less inflamed and help you feel better. It will also re-sensitize your taste buds to sweetness, so when that special holiday meal comes around you’ll fully appreciate all the sugary goodness. You most likely won’t need as much to feel satisfied, either.
  • Dairy is another food to look out for. Almost everyone is born able to digest dairy, but about 75% of us lose that ability at some point during adulthood [3]. Dairy can cause subtle inflammation and also makes a lot of people break out; try removing dairy during your pre-holiday diet and see how your digestion and energy levels change.
  • Gluten not only causes inflammation, it can also make it a lot more difficult to lose weight (3). Go gluten-free for at least a week and pay attention to how you feel. You may be surprised by how much it improves your digestion, mood, and overall health. You can add in lots of tasty grains that don’t have gluten, like rice, millet, or quinoa.
  • Red meat increases inflammation in some healthy women [4]. You may do better with less red meat. Try replacing it with more veggies or high omega-3 fish like salmon and mackerel.
  • Additives and preservatives (especially MSG) are packed into processed foods to keep them fresh or make them look better. The problem is that a lot of them are artificial, and your body often doesn’t know what to do with them. Eating too many additives can cause inflammation, immunosuppression, and weight gain [5]. MSG is particularly harmful because it plays a trick on your tastebuds — it mimics savory flavor, which can lead you to overeat.

Stay away from the snacks

If you tend to be a grazer and not a 3-meal-a-day type of person, this tip is for you. You may have heard that eating consistent small meals is the way to go for weight loss, but if you’re really looking to burn excess fat, you’re better off giving your digestion a break. Overnight fasting (12-14 hours) allows your body to clear itself of excess insulin and glucose, and without any food in your system, your body will burn your fat stores for energy [6].

During the day it’s best to plan out your meals in 4 hour intervals. That gives you time to digest the food you eat, after which you’ll start burning body fat. If you are constantly snacking and grazing during the day, your digestion gets no breaks and you don’t have a chance to tap into those pesky fat stores.

Use supplements to balance your metabolism

You don’t have to go it alone! Nature gave us some great resources to help with fat loss and overall health.

  • Medium chain triglyceride (MCT) oil is one of the few fat burning supplements that really works. People who replaced other fats with MCT oil lost significantly more weight than people who kept eating their normal diet [7]. You can add MCT oil to your shake in the morning, or just take a tablespoon of it anytime. It will give you a quick energy boost, and the flavor is quite neutral.
  • B vitamins You can’t really talk about metabolism without mentioning B vitamins. B’s are essential for the metabolism of food for energy, which is why you may have heard you should take a B Vitamin Complex if you’re feeling sluggish and tired. I’ve put together a methylated B Vitamin blend called Boost  that’s excellent for enhancing energy while also supporting your weight loss efforts.

A balanced hormonal system plays a huge role in your bodies ability to lose weight and maintain weight loss. Your ovaries, thyroid, and adrenals all work together with checks and balances to keep your hormones stable. When one goes out of whack the other two have to pick up the slack to keep the ball rolling. Taking a supplement like Hormone helper will promote thyroid function, while also aiding in blood sugar regulation through nutrients like choline which support liver health [8].

Relieve stress and burn calories with exercise

If you haven’t been moving much lately, now is the time of year to start. The holidays can bring all kinds of stress, and exercise can help you get ahead of things so you feel good when challenges come up.

You don’t have to train for a marathon to experience the wonderful benefits of exercise. A simple 75 minutes of movement a week makes a huge difference in your stress levels [9]. That’s 11 minutes a day!

If your goal is to lose weight, you’ll want to move a little bit more. Aim for 30-40 minutes of exercise a day to increase your metabolism and really get those fat cells burning [10].

Use apple cider vinegar tonics for extra support

Swap out your plain water for tonics that can give you a little extra weight loss boost. Apple cider vinegar tonics are a secret weapon for fat loss — a little apple cider vinegar can help you shed more weight [11]. Taking apple cider vinegar before a meal also evens out your blood sugar levels and helps you feel more satisfied with less food [12]. Try mixing apple cider vinegar in water in a 1:4 ratio, or just add a couple tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to your favorite drink. You can also mix in anti-inflammatory ginger, turmeric, and lemon juice for a deliciously soothing fat-burning tonic.

The holiday season is about celebration and I don’t want you to miss out on any of it! Use these pre-holiday tips to get a head start on feeling fresh, balanced, and healthy in the new year.

References

  1. Monteiro, R., & Azevedo, I. (2010). Chronic inflammation in obesity and the metabolic syndrome. Mediators of inflammation, 2010. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2913796/
  2. Gao, Y., Bielohuby, M., Fleming, T., Grabner, G. F., Foppen, E., Bernhard, W., … & García-Cáceres, C. (2017). Dietary sugars, not lipids, drive hypothalamic inflammation. Molecular metabolism, 6(8), 897-908. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5518723/
  3. Mattar, R., de Campos Mazo, D. F., & Carrilho, F. J. (2012). Lactose intolerance: diagnosis, genetic, and clinical factors. Clinical and experimental gastroenterology, 5, 113. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3401057/
  4. Soares, F. L. P., de Oliveira Matoso, R., Teixeira, L. G., Menezes, Z., Pereira, S. S., Alves, A. C., … & Alvarez-Leite, J. I. (2013). Gluten-free diet reduces adiposity, inflammation and insulin resistance associated with the induction of PPAR-alpha and PPAR-gamma expression. The Journal of nutritional biochemistry, 24(6), 1105-1111https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23253599
  5. Ley, S. H., Sun, Q., Willett, W. C., Eliassen, A. H., Wu, K., Pan, A., … & Hu, F. B. (2013). Associations between red meat intake and biomarkers of inflammation and glucose metabolism in women–. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 99(2), 352-360.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3893727/
  6. Paula Neto, H. A., Ausina, P., Gomez, L. S., Leandro, J. G., Zancan, P., & Sola-Penna, M. (2017). Effects of Food Additives on Immune Cells As Contributors to Body Weight Gain and Immune-Mediated Metabolic Dysregulation. Frontiers in immunology, 8, 1478.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5672138
  7. St-Onge, M. P., & Bosarge, A. (2008). Weight-loss diet that includes consumption of medium-chain triacylglycerol oil leads to a greater rate of weight and fat mass loss than does olive oil–. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 87(3), 621-626. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18326600
  8. Zeisel, S. H. (1992). Choline: an important nutrient in brain development, liver function and carcinogenesis. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 11(5), 473-481.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1452945
  9. Puterman, E., Lin, J., Blackburn, E., O’Donovan, A., Adler, N., & Epel, E. (2010). The power of exercise: buffering the effect of chronic stress on telomere length. PloS one, 5(5), e10837.://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0010837#s3
  10. Yan, Z., Lira, V. A., & Greene, N. P. (2012). Exercise training-induced regulation of mitochondrial quality. Exercise and sport sciences reviews, 40(3), 159.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3384482/
  11. Kondo, T., Kishi, M., Fushimi, T., Ugajin, S., & Kaga, T. (2009). Vinegar intake reduces body weight, body fat mass, and serum triglyceride levels in obese Japanese subjects. Bioscience, biotechnology, and biochemistry, 73(8), 1837-1843.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19661687
  12. Östman, E., Granfeldt, Y., Persson, L., & Björck, I. (2005). Vinegar supplementation lowers glucose and insulin responses and increases satiety after a bread meal in healthy subjects. European journal of clinical nutrition, 59(9), 983.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16015276
By | 2018-12-11T16:25:33+00:00 December 7th, 2018|Wellness|

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