Christmas is right around the corner and the sweets are still coming in heavy. You still have to make it through Christmas and all the way through New Years before the New Year resolutions are set in stone and everyone’s back to the gym.
We’ve covered how you can use exercise timing to your advantage when it comes to eating some of those holiday foods and still avoiding weight gain. But how about some foods and other tips that might help us avoid putting those sweets right on our waistlines? We’ve got some other hacks for you here:
Supplement your Meals with These Staples
1. Enjoy your coffee and green tea.
Caffeine can stimulate a faster metabolism and trigger more fat oxidation (burning of fat tissue, 1). Caffeine can also improve the way your body uses its energy and overall metabolism, particularly with exercise (2). So between the exercise timing discussed earlier and coffee or tea consumption, you can go a long way toward burning those unhealthy foods away.
And not only can caffeine be an advantage from coffee or tea, but they both pack tons of antioxidants with them. This will help protect your body from getting bogged down by all the oxidative stress from the fried vegetable oils and everything else going on in those delicious holiday meals.
2. Throw cinnamon on everything you can.
We’ve touched on the importance of insulin sensitivity elsewhere, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that anything we can do to enhance our insulin sensitivity is probably a good thing. Cinnamon is another tool we can use to help allow for the holiday sugars to be stored in our muscle cells rather than in our fat cells, using this same mechanism of insulin sensitivity (3).
3. Drink lots of water.
Drinking lots of water will not only help your body get the nutrients it needs and detoxify more efficiently, but it’ll also fill you up a bit so you don’t eat as much crap food. Although it’s possible to overhydrate, most people are by far on the opposite end of the spectrum. Up your water intake a bunch while eating those holiday meals and take up some room that the food would otherwise.
4. Eat fermented foods.
Eating fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha can be beneficial for your gut flora (i.e., gut microbiota, gut bacteria, etc.). Most people think of this as being beneficial for the immune system, but it can actually be beneficial for almost anything else you can think of, including how you process foods. Having the right bacteria in your stomach can mean the difference between burning or storing fat. So make sure to encourage a diverse gut biome by eating plenty of fermented foods.
5. Use citrus to your advantage.
Citrus is another one of those tools that we can get our insulin sensitivity going with (4). And in fact, grapefruit has been shown to lead to significant weight loss when supplemented before meals (5). So sprinkle that lemon on whatever you can, and incorporate grapefruit and other citrus products in whenever possible. And definitely ask for lemon in all that water you’ll be drinking with your meals!
Other Helpful Tips
In addition to getting the right supplements in your meals, you can make sure not to arrive to the party or family get-together starving and ready to devour whatever’s there. Try to eat a high-healthy-fat and high-protein breakfast, and this will set your metabolism on the right course.
You can offer to bring the desserts and choose to make them a bit more healthy than they otherwise may be from others, using real whole foods and avoiding the pounds of fructose and sucrose.
Make sure you chew your food thoroughly, and monitor the alcoholic beverages. This will give you more control over what you’re eating and help you not to go off the deep end.
Alright, that was plenty to chew on for the holiday season, at least for now. Try some of these out, and let us know how it goes. And let us know any other hacks you have for your holiday eating season!
In Excellent Health,
Garrett & Luc