Yes, it is about healthy eating but…
There will always be moments when there is a strong temptation to overindulge yourself in food.
One such time is over the holidays. The sights and smells are just begging you to reach out, take and eat.
However, the pleasure heights soon plunge into sorrow as you now deal with the reality of what you did. The feeling of guilt and self-disgust usually soon follows with unwanted weight gain.
You then either join a gym, you never have time to go to or try and fail with these fad diets that cause more harm than good.
How about avoiding that rollercoaster by choosing a different approach that will allow you to enjoy your delicacies without worrying about the weight gain?
Think Less Carbohydrates
For example the Keto Diet
Most of the foods during the holidays are high in fats, and by applying some keto principles, maybe you can use this to your advantage.
Basically, the popular keto diet promotes eating more fats and fewer carbs in order to enter a metabolic state called ketosis, where your body burns fat instead of carbohydrates for energy.
The suggested ratio is about 70% fats, 20% protein, and 10% carbs.
There are several studies that support the idea that reducing your carb intake allows you to reduce weight without counting calories and going to the gym 5 days a week.
Low-carb diets have a significant impact on weight loss due to reduced appetite and hence less calories when you decrease your carb intake.
However, on the negative side of keto, you will need to restrict fruits and vegetables which provide essential vitamins and minerals, digestive enzymes and fibre which are necessary for proper digestion and overall health.
A simpler solution may be a low carb approach similar to the Atkins diet. Very close to the keto diet but with way less restrictions.
Eat Smaller Portions More Often
Use Small Plates
Now, this requires a bit more self will.
The idea is to spread your meals throughout the day so you avoid overeating. This approach will allow your stomach the time it needs to digest your food properly.
A lot of the times because we usually eat quickly without pausing, we miss the brain to stomach signal that we are full.
In fact, some dietitians suggest eating slowly and pausing to assess whether or not you are approaching your limit or becoming full. No more mindless eating.
In my case, during a meal, I feel like I am not satisfied and need to take more food. Instead of immediately acting on the urge to take more food, I just pausing to ask myself am I really still hungry. Usually, I realize that I am full and no longer have the desire to eat more.
Prepare to Eat A lot and Drink more
Here in Trinidad, most persons would not eat anything for hours before going to an all you can eat buffer to get the most for their money.
Similarly, if you are going to a dinner party or family gathering then shift your eating routine so that your heaviest meal coincides with your outing.
You can eat fruits, light snacks and meal replacement shakes and bars during the day so you won’t be starving. At the same time, you won’t have to feel guilty about eating a bit more than you usually do.
Also drink more juices in between bites as this will help to feel full a lot faster.
Look for foods that stimulate your metabolism and reduce cravings
I know eating healthy usually is not on your mind during the holidays. Even so, eating foods that encourage metabolism can only help in the circumstances.
As you can see from the above image don’t skip the fruits and veggies as they are essential to your metabolism.
Medical News Today defines chromium as an essential trace mineral that can improve insulin sensitivity and enhance protein, carbohydrate, and lipid metabolism.
Food sources include, turkey breast, red wine, green bean, grape juice, potatoes, whole grains and meats. Another option is to use supplementation to give added support.
For example chromium picolinate
Chromium picolinate supports your ability to metabolize carbohydrates, fats, and protein efficiently. It can help enhance support weight loss, improved muscle mass and normal blood glucose levels. Best results observed when chromium picolinate used in combination with a nutritious, low-calorie diet and moderate exercise,
One small study suggests that chromium picolinate may reduce the risk of insulin resistance, and therefore may potentially reduce the risk of insulin resistance and of type 2 diabetes.
Fibre is Your Friend
Add lots of fibre
Dietary fibre or roughage is the portion of plant-derived food that cannot be completely broken down by our digestive enzymes. It is found mainly in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes.
Since we can’t digest fibre, it simply passes through the system, adding bulk and maintaining good bowel movement. It literally cleans the intestines and flushes out waste and toxins from the body.
I can tell you chronic constipation really takes a toll on you. From acne to weight gain. I remember not having a bowel movement for 2 months. The pain was excruciating when I finally did get to the toilet. Avoid it.
One major problem with constipation is the reabsorption of toxic substances from the colon into the body. Another by-product of constipation is bloating and water retention.
The article shares many of the diseases caused by a lack of fibre with supporting studies.
You can also read about the negative effects of constipation in this article.
Fibre helps you feel full and stay full longer and this can help you with your weight management
The amount of fibre in a person’s diet can affect weight, blood sugar, insulin regulation, and gut health. But scientists still don’t completely understand how fibre makes all this happen.
The fibre product I recommend to my customers is
- Taste-free, a non-gritty powder that can be sprinkled on your food or mixed into liquids. ( It doesn’t affect the taste)
- Offers a convenient way to help get the necessary fibre to support gastrointestinal health and regular bowel movement.
Use Digestive Enzymes
Digestive enzymes are natural protein-based molecules that increase the rate of metabolic reactions during the various stages of the digestive process, along the digestive tract (mouth, stomach, intestines).
These digestive enzymes support normal digestion of carbs, proteins, fats, and dairy products.
22 of the digestive enzymes we need are manufactured by the body. However, there are digestive enzymes our bodies can’t make. These other enzymes we can get by consuming fruits and vegetables.
Sometimes our bodies don’t produce enough of the enzymes we need for normal digestion. On the other hand, we are not consuming the amounts of raw foods, fruits and vegetables to obtain the required amounts of digestive enzymes daily.
These specific enzymes are critical during the first hour of the digestion process – called predigestion. This includes the upper stomach. Most of the digestive enzymes your body produces enter the process from the pancreas, downstream from your stomach.
A lack of these digestive enzymes causes food intolerances, sensitivities or even allergies not to mention poor gut health. Gut inflammation can also lead to joint pain.
Support Your Good Bacteria with Probiotics
Support healthy digestion and immunity
Digestive probiotics introduce good probiotics into the intestines to help support digestive system balance
For example, according to the Harvard Medical School, your gut helps regulate appetite by telling the brain when it’s time to stop eating. About 20 minutes after you eat, gut microbes produce proteins that can suppress appetite, which coincides with the time it often takes people to begin feeling full.
So not only will it help you feel full but also aid your digestive enzymes in breaking your food avoiding weight gain or waste gain.
The Harvard Medical School also stated in a report that the latest research shows that probiotics may offer benefits against a range of health conditions, including allergies, arthritis, asthma, cancer, depression, heart disease, and gastrointestinal (GI) problems. Probiotics may even help with weight loss. There are also added benefits to improving your mood.
A small 2013 study reported in the journal Gastroenterology found that women who ate yogurt with a mix of probiotics, twice a day for four weeks, were calmer when exposed to images of angry and frightened faces compared with a control group.
Use a Carb Blocker
Carb blockers are designed to prevent the digestion of both simple sugars and complex carbohydrates by temporarily inhibiting the relevant enzymes. Thus allowing the carbs to pass through your system.
The brand I use and recommend
- May help prevent up to 500 calories from being absorbed when taken with a high-carbohydrate meal.
- Blocks carbs without depriving your body of vitamins, minerals, and fibre.
- Made from fermented soy and white kidney bean extracts.
Use a weight loss aid
Enhance weight loss with supplementation
This dietary supplement for weight loss may help maintain a healthy waistline and enhance your weight control efforts.
In this specific case, I am referring to a supplement focused on the break down of lipids or fats. When used together with a carb block, the duo impact is extremely effective. The carb blocker reduces carbs digestion and hence cause the body to use fat as an energy source. Now you can truly enjoy your meal with no worries.
I would caution that this is a temporary measure and should not be seen as a long term replacement for exercise and a low calorie diet.