December is here and this time is all about family, love and of course food. I know some of you are worried about gaining some extra weight this season so here are some of my tips on how to stay in shape around this season.
Stay ahead of your cravings by starting the day right: Eat a protein-rich breakfast.
A recent new study has shown that a protein-rich breakfast not only curbs carb cravings, it helps control overeating all day long. Research from the University of Missouri showed that having a protein-rich breakfast boosts levels of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a brain hormone that stimulates feelings of food reward and therefore regulates cravings and food intake. Those who tend to skip breakfast have lower levels of dopamine which leads to snacking more and overeating, and therefore causes weight gain.
Add a daily probiotic.
Your gut normally has a combination of “good” bacteria and “bad” bacteria, and maintaining a balance is essential to achieving health. Factors such as illnesses, drugs, stress, and diet can disrupt this balance and lead to health problems. One of the major causes for carb cravings is the overgrowth of bad bacteria as well as yeast that feeds on sugar to survive. Recent studies have suggested that these gut bacteria may have the ability to “manipulate” their environment to their own benefit i.e. cause sugar cravings to live. By adding a daily probiotic, good bacteria is restored in balance to fend off the bad bacteria and yeast that fuel those sugar cravings.
Spice up your life with cinnamon.
Adding a ½ teaspoon of cinnamon helps control blood sugar by regulating insulin spikes after meals. By normalizing blood sugar levels, this, in turn, helps to reduce cravings for carbs and sugars. Cinnamon has also been known to provide other multiple health benefits including lower cholesterol, providing anti-inflammatory effects, boosts brain function involved in memory and concentration, supports digestion, and improves circulation.
And I want to remind you not to stress about indulging in delicious holiday treats. Remember, it’s all about balance and embracing the joy of the season. So, savor those festive feasts guilt-free and focus on creating unforgettable memories with loved ones.
If you need any help or advices on this, I am only one click away.
Dr. Angela Tran D.O.