The winter holidays are traditionally a time of family gatherings and feasts. There’s no shortage of delicious food on the table during this time, as shown by the face that most of the annual weight gain in America is crammed into the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.
If you are someone who wants to minimize the expansion of your waistline during this time, then listen up!
First, be aware of what you eat. Simply keeping tabs on your food intake can help cut the calories.
Focus on eating protein, water, and fiber. In other words, when you sit down to enjoy a meal, fill up on lean meats and vegetables. They are low in calories and rich in the most satiating components of a meal, helping you feel full sooner. Amino acids directly activate the satiety centers of the brain, while water and fiber expand your stomach to active satiation stretch receptors. Both also stimulate the release of satiating gut peptides.
Minimize your intake of fat and alcohol. Not only are these nutrients calorie-dense, they aren’t satiating. Plus, fat is the easiest nutrient to store on the body. It’s thermogenic effect is minimal, and there isn’t really anything that needs to be done before its able to be stored on your waist or thighs. Alcohol has the highest oxidative priority, meaning that while it is being metabolized by the liver to provide you with calories, other nutrients are stored away to be dealt with later.
I know, I know, this doesn’t sound fun at all.
Because it isn’t.
Feel free to ignore it and enjoy the holidays as we do. If you want to indulge without the fallout, then consider dieting up to the feast-day to help give yourself a buffer. Alternatively, just diet afterwards! You don’t need to do anything crazy. Forms of intermittent fasting like time-restricted feeding can also be helpful to create a deficit leading up to the feast.
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