Weight gain can seem like an inevitable part of the holidays but it doesn’t have to be! Below are 5 insider tips that may just leave you weighing less than before the season even began.
#1. Balance Your Blood Sugar Levels: Sugar that is in your blood that is not burned as energy will be stored as fat. To make matters worse, blood sugar spikes cause the blood-sugar regulating hormone insulin to rise as well, and too much insulin hampers your body’s ability to burn fat. Teach yourself the art of proper food combining, reduce or eliminate refined carbohydrates, consider taking a chromium supplement to control sugar and carb cravings and be sure to include strength training in your exercise regime.[i] For more expert advice on how to control your blood sugar levels naturally check out our Blood Sugar App.
#2. Fight Inflammation: Inflammation of the brain can reduce the ability of the appetite suppressing hormone leptin to do its job. Inflammation also hinders your body’s ability to transfer the glucose in your food to your cells so your brain doesn’t realize how much you’ve eaten – leaving you hungry and prone to cravings. To make matters worse, inflammation can cause insulin resistance and impair the metabolism of glucose and fat. To reduce inflammation you need to reduce stress, exercise regularly, avoid trans fatty acids and sugar and eat an anti-inflammatory (link to weight loss APP) diet that includes omega-3s, antioxidant dense fruits and veggies, dark cocoa and spices such as ginger, cinnamon and turmeric.
#3. Rev-Up Your Metabolism: Avoid diets and food restriction which will lower your metabolism and cause relentless food cravings. Instead eat every three hours and have a small snack before bed, and include both cardio and strength training in your exercise regime. You should also find ways to destress because stress causes cortisol levels to spike and overtime it can lead to excess belly fat. You should also include thermogenic foods in your daily diet, great examples include green tea, coconut, citrus, apples, nuts, lean meats, cold water fish, and spices such as Cayenne pepper, black pepper and cumin.
#4. Get Quality Sleep: It’s a proven fact, sleep plays an integral role in weight management. Not only does a lack of sleep cause the hunger hormone ghrelin to surge, it also causes a decrease in the appetite suppressing hormone leptin. To make matters worse, sleep deprivation causes cortisol levels to increase which interferes with the building of muscle mass and as mentioned above contributes to belly fat. To reduce your appetite and increase your metabolism aim for 7-10 hours of sleep nightly (everyone is different so figure out what works best for you), and sleep in a quiet, dark and cool environment.
#5. Have Saunas: Although not scientifically proven, there is strong anecdotal evidence that heating up the body helps suppress the appetite. Saunas also relax you and reduce stress levels, which in turn reduce cortisol levels and helps prevent stress eating. Even better is the fact that saunas help eliminate toxins, they increase your metabolism and burn calories, and may even help break-up and flush-out fat cells. For optimal results use a far-infrared sauna because the heat penetrates deeper and aim for about 30 minutes three times a week.
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[i] Certain supplements can cause side-effects and/or interact with certain medications, so always check with your healthcare provider before using them medicinally.