“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” – Mark Twain
The holidays are filled with tasty treats. Whether you’re feeling joyful or you have the holiday blues, it’s easy to succumb to overeating and indulging in not-so-healthy treats. You may not realize that your gut actually absorbs about twice the number of calories when it’s not healthy! Luckily, there are also some easy ways to prevent unwanted weight gain. Keep reading to discover a number of calorie-cutting tips for your mind and body.
Moderation Is Your Best Friend
Once you label foods as “bad” and tell yourself you can’t eat them, you crave them. When you deprive yourself of a food, you set yourself up for disaster. You’re better off viewing the unhealthier food choices as options you can enjoy when you want — just make sure you eat them in moderation.
Practice Mindful Eating
When you want to indulge in a not-so-healthy food choice, practice mindful eating to truly enjoy the treat without overeating and feeling guilty. Mindful eating is based on three bites, each small, the size of your thumb:
- Bite 1 — Chew slowly and let your palate wake up.
- Bite 2 — This time, as you slowly chew, label everything you feel and taste. Be present in the moment as you enjoy the bite.
- Bite 3 — Now that you know what to expect and your palate is fully awake, this third bite is the chance to truly enjoy the food. Chew slowly as you celebrate the flavors and textures.
While you could go on to eat bite four, chances are, bite four won’t taste as good as bite three. As you continue practicing mindful eating, you’ll begin to realize how enjoyable and satisfying three bites of a treat can be.
Often, we feel hunger when we are actually thirsty. If you’re feeling hungry, start with water. Sip on water throughout the day and keep a glass in your hand at parties. You can switch things up with an all-natural seltzer water that doesn’t have any additives or sugars. The more water you have in your belly, the less hungry you’ll feel.
Redefine Hunger and Satiety
When do you feel the need to eat? Are you truly hungry, or are you feeling bored, happy, angry, sad or tired? Before you think about eating, make sure you’re correctly defining hunger. Many of us aren’t comfortable with the feeling of hunger and become preoccupied with it. We can’t focus on anything except getting the next snack or meal. Once we do, we eat, overeat and then eat some more. We only feel the hunger go away when we’re full.
Full is the uncomfortable feeling you get when you overeat. Instead of defining your satiety by an extended abdomen, try defining it as no longer feeling hunger pains. You are no longer actively hungry, and you’re not overfilled either. It’s the sweet spot that takes you through your day without fixating on your next snack.
Keep in mind that it takes some time for your belly to signal to your brain that you’re satiated. One way to match your internal clock is by eating slowly and drinking between bites. Slow down and enjoy the process.
Grow Good Gut Bacteria
When you have a healthy ratio of good-to-bad gut bacteria, you can enjoy a range of health benefits including weight management. You feel fuller for longer, and you can feel satisfied by eating less. However, when bad bacteria are present in your gut (a condition known as dysbiosis), your colon will actually absorb many more calories from the food you eat. Studies have shown that prebiotics rapidly increase the good bacteria growing in your gut, which help prevent dysbiosis from occurring. Additionally, keeping your gut healthy can lead to fewer feelings of anxiety, depression and stress — all triggers for overeating.
The easiest ways to grow your good gut bacteria is by fertilizing it with Prebiotin prebiotic fiber. This tasteless, easily dissolvable powder is made from all-natural prebiotic fibers. Simply stir it in your coffee or sprinkle it over your food to reap its many benefits. Take a proactive approach to preventing weight gain this holiday season by making sure your gut is healthy.