There’s no doubt: The time between Thanksgiving and the New Year is the high-risk season for weight gain. High-carb treats and overstuffed plates quickly lead to a bulging waistline. In addition to kicking up your workout frequency, you can do more damage control by using a few of simple tricks to reduce the overall impact it has on your blood sugar … and ultimately the scale:
One trick for blunting the effect of your high-carb treats is bumping up your protein intake. Protein slows the release of sugar into our blood stream, which leads to less insulin release. Since insulin is the only hormone that tells the body to store fat, this is always a good thing for a slim waistline.
For best results, eat equal amounts of protein and carbohydrates during meal times (like 20 to 25 grams of both protein and carb). Enjoying a protein shake for breakfast and a second as a mid-afternoon snack can give you a quick source of nutrients without promoting weight gain.
Here’s a simple recipe you can put in a shaker cup and just add water or almond milk when you are ready to consume it:
Blend one serving of whey protein isolate, a tablespoon of almond butter, two tablespoons of ground flax or chia seeds and a teaspoon of cinnamon.
This drink chalked full of whey protein is proven to lead you to consume less calories at your following meal. And for better appetite control at meal times, try consuming your protein first, your veggies second and your starchy carbohydrates last.
Eat every three to four hours to maintain blood sugar levels, prevent overeating and avoid excessive cravings. Skipping meals, irregular meal times and excessive caloric restriction will only lead to increased risk of binging later in the day. Before attending your next holiday dinner or party, try to have a snack such as a handful of walnuts or a few olives. The healthy fats in these foods can help to cut belly fat and reduce the tendency to overeat. Finally, travel with snacks such as a piece of string cheese, raw almonds or cashews, or a low sugar protein bar.