Winter can be a great season with holidays, winter sports and snuggling up in front of a fire, but it can also be a season for many of us for gaining weight. Holiday meals and parties, being less active, and hanging around the house more all lead to extra eating and extra calories. Here are some easy strategies we’ve gathered from experts to boost your metabolism and avoid gaining weight this winter.
- Go for the lower calorie foods at holiday parties such as the veggie tray or fruits rather than the cookies and fudge. If salad is on the menu, use oil and vinegar dressing and avoid fatty dips by choosing hummus or other bean dips instead. High protein snacks such as cheese or lean meats are also good choices to fill you up without as many calories. Stay away from the selections with more carbs and fats or limit yourself to just a bite or two of these.
- Do strength training exercises to increase muscle as muscle burns much more calories than fat does and activating muscle raises your metabolism.
- Instead of eating the typical big 3 meals a day, go with eating more smaller meals or snacks throughout the day. This cuts down on between meal snacking, but also increases metabolism so you are burning off more calories.
- Get plenty of sleep. When you don’t get enough sleep it affects hormone levels that raise your appetite level and keep you from feeling full when you are through eating.
- More calories are burned up through digesting protein than by digesting carbs and fats. Increase the healthy protein foods in your diet and decrease the number of carbs you eat.
- Even a slight amount of dehydration can slow metabolism down. Drink plenty of water necessary for processing calories and eat foods with high water content.
- A natural and healthy way to keep your metabolism high and your fat content low is to add enzymes to your regimen between and at meals. Enzymes help boost your metabolism. These enzymes contain amylase, cellulase, lipase, protease, and lactase for more efficient digestion to avoid the after-meal energy slump. These enzymes with an extra boost contain cayenne and other substances to increase metabolism, burn fat, digest a broad spectrum of substances, and clean up waste in the body.
- Drinking green tea with its caffeine and catechins boosts the metabolism and can increase the amount of calories burned off during exercise by 17%.
- Jennifer Lovejoy, Ph.D suggests eating snacks such as cheese, carrots, or cereal with high fiber and skim milk before going to a holiday party so that you aren’t as hungry when you show up and not as likely to overeat. I find that another good snack to curb appetite before going out is this snack bar fortified with sprouted grains, greens, and bluegreen algae.
- Stress causes a release of cortisol in the body. This hormone causes our appetite level to increase, we eat more and what we are eating is not usually healthy foods but more in the comfort food category. Find a method of releasing stress that works for you and fits in your schedule so you actually do it.
- If you like spicy food then you are in luck as hot peppers containing capsaicin are one of the good metabolism boosting foods.
- Cinnamon can help keep blood sugar levels stabilized which translates into a decrease in appetite and food cravings. It also adds a holiday flavor to anything from oatmeal to yogurt or coffee and tea.
- Alcohol can also be high calorie. If you are at a party that you want to have an alcoholic beverage, tone it down with just a bit of alcohol and lots of tonic or mineral water.
- Your digestive system needs healthy friendly bacteria to digest your food. If you do not have enough of these bacteria working for you, your digestion is slowed and bloating occurs as well as having undigested food causing belly bulges. Yogurt and kefir are good sources of probiotics vital to this digestion process. When buying yogurt or kefir, make sure you get the ones with live active cultures. You can also add a full spectrum probiotic supplement to your diet. Our favorite probiotic supplement has twelve key good bacteria that are microblended with bluegreen algae. Other good probiotics to help with digestive function are acidophilus and bifidus.
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