5 Easy Tricks to Avoid Overeating During the Holidays

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5 Easy Tricks to Avoid Overeating During the Holidays

Written by: Janet Early

The holidays are a time for family, gratitude, generosity and (let’s face it) overeating.

But they don’t have to be! Because to truly enjoy this special time, it’s important to feel at your best, instead of bloated and regretful.

Here are 5 simple tricks to help you with your portion sizes this December:

1. Keep it hot

Studies have supported the theory that feeling warm causes you to eat less. If your environment is warm, your body does not feel the need to use energy to warm you up (i.e. thermoregulation), thus reducing caloric demand. Similarly, studies have shown that people tend to eat more when in colder environments.

To prevent your own overeating, bundle up in a warm, cozy outfit, turn the heat up in your home or lounge by the fireplace. Drinking a warm beverage such as tea or hot cocoa could also help!

2. Add something spicy

Studies have found that a diet inclusive of spicy foods causes one to eat less. Consuming spicy foods physically slows the eating process, which tends to result in lower caloric intake overall. Furthermore, meals with spicy ingredients deter cravings for sweet or fatty foods. So, if you spice up your main holiday meal a bit, you will be less likely to go ape on dessert.

3. Wait at least 30 minutes between the end of the main meal and dessert

Often, dessert is served immediately followed dinner. We can get so caught up in the anticipation of delicious savory treats that we overeat. To prevent this, leave room before dessert, at least 30 minutes to an hour. This will allow your body time to digest the meal you just ate and for your brain to re-evaluate your hunger level. As a result, you will approach the dessert table in a more reasonable frame of mind.

4. Drinks lots of water during the day

Drinking a sufficient amount of water throughout the day has been proven to prevent weight gain. A study that analyzed the relationship between weight loss and water consumption found that:

  • “Middle aged and older people who drank two cups of water right before eating a meal ate between 75 and 90 fewer calories during that meal.”
  • “Over the course of 12 weeks, dieters who drank water before meals, three times per day, lost about 5 pounds more than dieters who did not increase their water intake.” 

5. Make sure you get 8 hours a night of sleep

The link between sleep deprivation and high body mass index is well-documented. When you don’t get enough sleep at night (i.e. fewer than 7-9 hours), it throws off the balance of the hormones leptin and ghrelin in the body.

Ghrelin is also known as your “hunger hormone”; it signals to the brain when you need food. Contrastingly, leptin lets your brain know when you are full and your energy levels are stable. Undersleeping tends to raise ghrelin levels and hinder leptin function, causing you to overeat. Therefore, make sure you are hitting the hay for 8 hours each night, especially around the holidays!

How do you keep fit during the tempting holiday season? Please share below!

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Janet Early

Janet Early

Janet Early is a health enthusiast living in Los Angeles and working as a researcher for a major television company. An aspiring writer, Janet discovered her passion for wholesome nutrition and natural healing while navigating the struggles of balancing food sensitivities in a modern world. In addition to nutrition, she enjoys traveling, storytelling and embarking on daily adventures.
Janet Early
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