How to not get bloated during Noche Buena
Feast mindfully this holiday season
Dec 23, 2017
It’s that dreaded time of the year when we bid goodbye to fitness goals begrudgingly made at the start of the season. Even though we live in a tropical country, the drop in temperature during the holiday season is undeniable—it’s like a signal to the body to crave warmth in comfort food.
Before we start rejecting all the invitations to holiday dinners and their accompanying calorie-laden spreads, know that there are ways to prevent overeating and to stave off the feeling of bloatedness that comes after.
Choose whole foods
Practice self-control when it comes to refined carbohydrates. Consuming high glycemic foods, a.k.a. those with high sugar content, spike your body’s insulin, which is the hormone that balances blood glucose levels and stores excess sugar directly in the body as fat. Choosing low glycemic foods like vegetables, eggs, Greek yogurt, nuts, and organic meats will stabilize your appetite and satiate hunger for longer periods of time. Plus, you don’t experience the nasty sugar crash that results in irritability and lethargy.
Don’t starve yourself
It has become second nature to deprive ourselves of food when we know that a feast awaits us later—a common way of readying the stomach for the amount and variety of food we’d be taking in. However, starving yourself pre-party does more damage than good, as hunger pangs push you to overcompensate later, causing you to overeat. Rather than starving yourself, have a protein snack to get you through the hours before your holiday gathering. A banana-peanut butter smoothie, some low-sugar granola, an apple, a boiled egg, or even a handful of unsalted popcorn could stabilize your hunger and help pace your eating, saving you a lot of digestive and hormonal problems.
Eat like a bird
My mother once asked a very slim septuagenarian how she retains her figure, and she replied, “I eat like a bird.” More often than not, when faced with a spread of various dishes, our all too human tendency is to try everything. In buffets especially, diners will fill their plates almost to spilling, which leads not only to overeating but also to food waste. To avoid this, choose to enjoy dishes that you hardly get to eat on a daily basis, and serve yourself only small amounts. Better yet, go for the healthiest foods, like salads, veggies, and grilled meats. This way, you could have little bites of everything that will satiate your palate and satisfy your hunger.
This story originally appeared in Northern Living, Dec. 2017
Header image courtesy of Unsplash
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