From Thanksgiving to Christmas, to New Year’s Eve and even towards the Super Bowl, Americans consume thousands of extra calories that will cause fat gain. This weight gain is obviously unhealthy, and it’s important to lose extra fat. But so many diets don’t work. You need to change what you eat. Here are easy tips to help you lose the holiday fat.
Don’t diet and don’t exercise too much
Although this doesn’t sound right, you really have to stop strict dieting. Dieting has been proven to cause weight gain! Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine has shown that after you diet to lose weight, hormones involved in appetite are altered and cause you to eat more, resulting in greater weight gain. The study concludes that “…compensatory changes in circulating mediators of appetite that encourage weight regain after diet-induced weight loss do not revert to baseline values within 12 months after the initial weight reduction.” Hunger from such diets can be elevated even a year after you stop the diet. If you just need to lose a few pounds and aren’t obese, dieting will still make you fatter. Dieting makes you feel slow, lowers your mood, and weakens you. So no more extreme dieting.
Also avoid excess exercise, because this can increase appetite and weight gain.
How to encourage weight loss
You have to gently nudge weight loss by using specific nutrients and nutrition plans that modulate insulin and energy expenditure.
Eat low-glycemic foods
You have to eliminate the liquid sugar drinks such as soft drinks, because they cause high levels of insulin and their calories are easily deposited as fat.
A recent randomized controlled clinical trial showed that a low-glycemic index diet, low GI, with a moderate amount of carbohydrates is best for weight loss. This diet was not extreme, and was more effective than a moderate-carbohydrate and high-GI diet, and than a low-fat and high-GI diet. Low glycemic carbohydrates include chick peas, al dente pasta (which isn’t cooked for too long), whole grains, and veggies. By adding some fat to carbs, or some protein, you lower the glycemic effect even more.
The authors of the study concluded that “Our results suggested that diets rich in fat mainly derived from plant sources and with moderate amounts of carbohydrate, such as the Mediterranean Diet, are more effective at managing obesity than traditional LF (low fat) diets are.”
Use some cinnamon
Cinnamon is an insulin sensitizer and helps lower blood glucose levels. A recent placebo-controlled study examined the effects of 3 grams of cinnamon per day by type 2 diabetic patients. Those who used cinnamon had significantly lower levels of body fat mass, weight, fasting blood glucose, HbA1c, and triglycerides compared to baseline, as compared to those in the placebo group.
Adults who routinely drink more than 1 cup of tea per week for more than 10 years have lower body fat percentages and smaller waist circumferences than non-habitual tea drinkers. It can be green, oolong or black team, as these all had a beneficial effect. A recent review highlights that consumption of tea significantly reduces body weight. The beneficial effects of green tea catechins are due to the combination, rather than to any single catechin or compound, so it’s better to drink green tea than use it as a supplement. Note that green tea supplements can cause liver problems, so avoid them. Drinking green tea is safe. The study states that “…green tea and black tea have many kinds of catechins and a small amount of natural caffeine as well. More varieties of catechins and other compounds and also combination with a pre-defined management plan may further increase the existing weight loss.”
So enjoy some paste with tomato and olive oil, have some cinnamon in your tea, and exercise lightly, and absolutely avoid extreme diets.