Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

Gaining weight apparently has become a part of the holidays. Do you know that weight gain can also affect your mood? Awareness is perhaps the best way to maintain a healthy body and avoid any chance of gaining weight.

Since stress is something that cannot be prevented when the holiday season strikes, it is best that you watch out for your mood. So what you need to do is set a calm mood on these occasions.

Blood sugar affects your mood

One way to remain stress-free during the holidays is to maintain a stable mood and energy. This reduces the chances of overeating and helps you feel better.

According to an expert, it is best that you eat foods that are slowly digested. This keeps your blood sugar at a steady level. Certain foods that are slow in digestion are whole wheat grain bread, brown rice, salmon, chicken breast, peanut butter or even turkey sandwich.

Fast-digesting foods only make your blood sugar go high only to drop down all of a sudden. This leaves you hungry once more, making you grab a couple of chocolate bars only to feel another blood sugar drop.

Serotonin as a mood booster

Serotonin is a feel-good hormone which your brain releases when you eat carbohydrates. The brain needs tryptophan, an amino acid essential for the build up of serotonin, and carbohydrates is the one responsible to the formation of this feel-good chemical.

This means that the more carbs you take, the more your mood improves. Additionally, serotonin is also important in combating weight gain. It gives a feeling that you have had enough thus reducing your appetite.

In a research conducted by the Arizona State University to overweight adults, a diet low in carbohydrates increases fatigue and decreases any desire to exercise.

Experts do not recommend the inclusion of protein when eating carbs. That is because it prevents serotonin production. High-fat foods must be avoided as well for they are slow to digest.

Carbohydrate-rich foods to fight mood swings

  • Power gels like Gu
  • graham crackers
  • popcorn
  • baked potato
  • low-fat cereal

Other nutrients that induce a positive mood

Foods rich in Omega-3

  • fish like tuna, salmon, sardines and mackerel
  • flaxseed
  • nuts
  • dark, green leafy veggies

Foods rich in Vitamin B12

  • low-fat dairy foods
  • fish

Selenium-rich foods

  • lean meat
  • whole grains
  • low-fat dairy products
  • nuts beans seafood

As a diet tip, always remember that eating small amounts of these healthy foods frequently helps in keeping the blood sugar stable. Eating at about 3-4 hours keeps your blood sugar steady and enough energy to go with the holiday stress.

Tips to avoid gaining weight during the holidays

  • Eat breakfast
  • Drink water or non-fat milk
  • Take low-fat crackers or popcorns instead of chocolates
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Fight depression by attending holiday parties