Tips for Bouncing Back after Holiday Over-Indulgence
December 23, 2015
Many people feel a sort of holiday letdown after Christmas. What we don’t necessarily realize is that it is largely due to nutrition. Think about it; the month of December is full of holiday parties and treats, marked by overindulgence of alcohol, sweets, carbohydrates, all of our holiday favorites. That wreaks havoc on the body, especially our gut health. Sugar and wheat in particular throw off the balance and end up leaving us feeling moody, depressed, irritable, foggy, unfocused, sluggish, anxious, etc. as well as craving more – often for days after we’ve overindulged.
Our mood and cognitive functioning rely heavily on the nutrients and messages from our gut, so the key to getting back to our vibrant, energetic, happy selves - as well as to curb cravings and get healthy overall - is to make changes to our diet:
Boost probiotics to boost mood, gut health, and those fluctuating feeling of dietary “willpower” – kefir, sauerkraut, fermented vegetables, grass-fed yogurt, and high quality probiotic supplements will rebuild the healthy bacteria in the gut. This helps with digestion, absorption of nutrients, and making sure that the brain gets what it needs for serotonin production, otherwise known as the feel good chemical.
Minimize wheat and sugar for balanced blood sugar and improved gut health
Increase healthy fats like grass-fed butter, pastured eggs, grass-fed meats, organic coconut oil, and avocado. This will also help balance out blood sugar to reduce cravings and stabilize hunger/satiation.
Don’t skip meals – eat high fat, high protein from healthy sources and get your body’s natural hunger and satiation cues functioning properly again.
Eat more greens – this will help rebalance your body’s ph levels after all the holiday indulging, and paired with healthy fats and proteins will help keep you feeling full and satiated.
Magnesium – magnesium is depleted by consuming excess sugar or caffeine, and most people tend to be deficient in this vital nutrient. It is responsible for some of the most important functions of our body. Magnesium deficiency can lead to fatigue, headaches, irritability, constipation, muscle cramps, insomnia, kidney stones, osteoporosis, weakness, confusion, memory problems, and has also been indirectly linked to heart conditions and fibromyalgia. Excellent food sources of magnesium include: organic dark leafy vegetables, raw cacao dark chocolate, and organic almonds and pumpkin seeds.
Other tips to help you get back on track with your overall well-being:
Get moving – go for a walk, stretch, lift weights, get a jump start on those New Year’s health and fitness resolutions! Check out your local gym, set up a consultation with a personal trainer, try out a fitness class.
Meditate to relieve stress and manage moods. Feeling blue? Sit with it, bear witness to what it feels like in your body, how it affects your breathing, your stomach, your posture, the muscles in your face.
Sleep! Get proper rest, take care of yourself.
A lot of people find that their weight levels off after incorporating these changes for an extended period of time. By focusing on choosing healthy, nutrient-rich food, nourishing your body with healthy fats, proteins and vegetables, and minimizing sugars, wheat, and chemicals, you can reap some serious health benefits, from weight loss to rebalancing blood sugar, hunger cues, mood, and gut health. What a great way to start the New Year - committed to your health and well-being!