Top 3 Bad Eating Habits to Avoid This Upcoming Holiday!

The holiday is coming up and you can imagine the virtual minefield of delicious calorie-filled treats and beverages! Will you survive the festivity without gaining extra weight? The problem with holiday weight gain is that it is difficult to shed those extra pounds. This additional weight adds up year after year and is a major contributing factor to obesity in adults.

In this article, I will share with you some effective ways to break the top 3 bad habits to keep weight gain at bay this holiday!

So here’s the first bad habit that you need to avoid this holiday.

Bad Habit #1: You Starve Yourself before Going to a Party

When you are expected to attend a holiday party, do you eat less before the party? Do you have a tendency to starve yourself earlier in the day?

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When you’re hungry, the hunger hormone (ghrelin) level increases. This hormone acts on your brain’s pleasure center, telling your brain that it is pleasurable to eat more.

Some people will do this to make sure that they have enough space in their tummy for all the delicious party foods. Others have a misconception that starving themselves before enjoying the treats during the festivity will save them from gaining weight. Some avoid eating all day in preparation for the festivity.

Now think again, why you shouldn’t arrive hungry at the party?

When you’re hungry, your hunger hormone level known as ghrelin increases. This substance also acts at the pleasure centers of your brain. Therefore, you have the tendency to grab another slice of cake; glass of soda, a plate of pasta and the list goes on because your elevated ghrelin level keeps telling your brain that it is pleasurable and to eat more!

Now imagine how many holiday parties will you be attending, how many relatives will invite you over and how many parties will be held at your home! With such a bad habit of starving yourself before going to a festivity, you will surely accumulate all the extra calories every time you over eat. At the end of the holidays, you won’t be surprised about having your own version of Santa’s belly.

So what should you do to break this #1 holiday bad habit? Here are 3 tips for you:

Tip #1 Eat less but don’t starve yourself. Arriving at the party with a full tummy wouldn’t be a good idea, as you might not have the appetite to enjoy the party foods. However, you need to eat your meals as usual, just decrease the amount of food throughout the day to save you room for the party foods and to avoid overeating at the same time. Keep in mind that eating less is not tantamount to NOT eating at all.

Tip #2 Eat fiber-rich foods and whole grains instead of carbs to have a sustainable energy throughout the day.

Tip #3 Drink a glass of water before starting to eat at the party. Water serves as a filler. It will neutralize your hunger so you won’t overeat.

It’s easy, isn’t it? Now, let’s talk about the second holiday bad habit.

Bad Habit #2: You Prefer Staying Close to the Food Table

Who doesn’t want to find a seat closest to the food table, right? It’s more convenient and makes the food easily accessible. You don’t need to pass through the crowd just to refill your plate. And that’s the problem! The more accessible the food is, the more food you will eat!

So why should you choose a seat away from the food table?

weight gain alternative medicine practitioner brisbane When you smell and see visually attractive food, your senses send signals to your brain that food is near. This triggers the release of insulin, a substance that delivers nutrients, particularly sugar to the cells all over the body, and it will make you think that you are hungry. Even if you’ve already eaten enough, the signal from your sense of sight and smell will make you eat more. It activates an appetite cascade. If this happens every time you attend holiday parties, then expect to gain some extra pounds at the end of the year. Yes, your friendship with the food table for nearly two weeks of holiday festivity will make you fat.

Now, how can you break this #2 holiday bad habit? Here are 3 tips for you

Tip #1 Find a comfortable seat away from the food table and bring just enough food to satisfy your hunger and taste buds. You will be less tempted to get more food if you don’t see it nearby. And, you will burn calories as you walk towards the food table every time you decide to grab another plate.

Tip #2 Enjoy the company of your family, relatives, friends or workmates while eating. It will take you more time to finish what’s on your plate, as having good company at the table and conversation will divert your attention away from food. After 20 minutes, your brain sends signals to your gut that you’ve have eaten enough.

Tip #3 Use a small plate and only fill it with the food that you like most, especially when it comes to high-calorie containing desserts. This will prevent you from overcrowding your plate with everything that’s on the food table. Setting a limit to the amount of food that you eat is crucial to keeping a healthy weight.

But that’s not all! Last but not the least among the top three holiday bad habits is your alcohol drinking habit.

Bad Habit #3: You Are Offhandedly Drinking Alcoholic Beverages

 Alcoholic beverages are always on the list of drinks served during holiday parties. Aside from food, liquor is one of the most tempting treats, don’t you think?

Nowadays, alcohol is no longer a mere drink; it’s even served as ingredient in some recipes. Moreover, decades ago, you would only hear about beer, wine, whiskey, and vodka served in glasses; these days, there are vodka Jell-O shots, brandy milk punch, cardamom and pop punch. Very intriguing and inviting liquor cocktails, don’t you think? However, no matter how fancy their names are, the fact that they are alcoholic drinks, they are and will always be a threat to your health and will make you gain weight!

So the question is …“Why would alcoholic beverages increase your chance of gaining weight this holiday?”

First and for most, liquors have high calorie content. Drinking a glass of vodka is like eating a slice of cake. A glass of frozen margarita is equivalent to 1 cheeseburger while one glass of whiskey has calorie content equivalent to 2 sausages. So imagine how fast you finish that glass of drink and how many calories are you infusing in your body with each gulp of that alcoholic cocktail.

Aside from the calorie content of alcohol, it wreaks havoc to your metabolism. How? Your body can’t store alcohol, so it should use it first as source of energy (metabolise) and at the same time, convert the toxic components into less harmful components. Your body will also excrete some of the alcohol you’ve consumed through your urine, breath and sweat. It sounds good that the body is quick in getting rid of alcohol, right?

weight gain alternative medicine practitioner brisbane ROHHowever, the problem comes in when you’ve been consuming a lot of food and having liquor at the same time, which usually happens during holiday parties. The body prioritises to metabolise (use as energy source) alcohol over the sugar and fats that you’ve been eating. As a result, your metabolism for food slows down, which contributes to weight gain. Instead of converting food into energy, they are stored in your body in the form of fats.

So what should you do then? Here are 3 tips for you:

Tip #1 Limit your alcohol intake or if possible, avoid any liquor.

Tip #2 Instead of holding a glass of liquor or bottle of beer after meal, keep your hand busy in holding a glass of water. Sip from time to time, as water can also serve as a filler that will keep you from feeling hungry from the sight of food.

Tip #3 Detoxify alcohol. Why should you detoxify alcohol? Detoxification speeds up the elimination of alcohol from your body.

Without detoxification, your body takes one hour to break down one unit (10 ml) of pure alcohol. Each large glass (250ml) of wine and each pint of beer contain three units (30ml) of pure alcohol, which means that the body needs three hours to get rid of alcohol. Meanwhile, 25 ml of brandy, whisky or rum contains one unit. How many glasses of alcoholic drinks do you consume each party? If you’ve been drinking a lot, it can take 1one to two days to be alcohol-free. This means that for these days, your body will be using alcohol as source of energy and everything that you eat will be stored as fat deposits in your body!

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There are many herbs that can help you remove alcohol from your system such as milk thistle, bitter gourd leaves, basil and ashwagandha, which are powerful antioxidants.

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