It is almost the festive season and some of us are concerned about gaining weight over this period. It is difficult to stick to your healthy eating habits and not overdo it a bit during the holidays.
When the holidays are over and we need to get back to our “normal” life, we find it stressful as the pair of jeans that was so comfortable, all of sudden feels too tight and we have a little tube of fat around our waist, we get tempted to go to extreme measure to undo the damage.
Start eating on schedule each day by eating breakfast within an hour of waking up. By starting your day with a healthy meal and enjoying evenly spaced meals will maximise your metabolism, regulate your insulin, blood sugar levels and level out your appetite. We do get tempted to cut back drastically, but starving completely backfires as it forces your body to switch into conservation mode and burn fewer calories and you are more likely to hang onto body fat.
Increase your water intake as it supports the optimal metabolism and naturally curbs your appetite. Drinking more water flushes out excess sodium to help you quickly de-bloat – aim for 2 – 2.5 litres a day (+/- 8-10 cups).
The first thing we sometimes think is that we will cut carbs out completely, but this can force your body to burn protein for fuel, instead of using it to maintain and support your calorie-burning muscle. Rather just cut back, pair veggies and lean protein with a small quantity of healthy fat and a small portion of whole grains. Two cups of veggies, ½ cup of lean protein such as tofu, fish, poultry or beans, ½ cup whole grain barley, wild rice or quinoa with a bit of extra-virgin olive oil, a chopped avocado or sliced almonds.
Try this as the portions and proportions will leave you feeling satisfied and energised while you still see results, so you won’t be starving, moody, irritable or depressed with no energy and out-of-control cravings.
Sauté one cup of veggies, onions, sliced grape tomatoes, chopped mushrooms and asparagus in a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil with garlic and herbs. Add it to 1 cup of organic greens, and top with a half-cup of cooked quinoa (warm or chilled) and ½ cup of lentils or 3 ounces of diced chicken breast. Dust with cracked black pepper and drizzle with a little balsamic vinegar.
So, go enjoy your festive season even if you gain a bit there are healthy ways to remedy it quickly and before you know it you will back to your normal weight.