Let's face it.....everyone wants to look amazing in that little black dress at your holiday party!
There is nothing wrong with using vanity as your motivation to stay slim sometimes. Although this is not the main reason you should be working toward a slim, toned, healthy body on a regular basis, it is common for this to be the focus around special events.
The Christmas and New Year holidays are one of those times. So many holiday parties to attend, meet-ups with loved ones, shopping trips and luncheons with the girlfriends. Not to mention that there is a camera in everyone's hand around this time of year so of course you want to look your best! So here we are at the subject of the dreaded holiday bloat.
How many of you have worked hard all season long only to reach the holidays and start feeling bloated and gassy from all the holiday foods, alcohol, and stress? I know I have!
We've all been there. The holidays are a great time to connect with friends and family and it is easy to overdue things when you are going from one holiday party to another. All it takes is one overindulgent night to temporarily ruin that bangin figure you have been working so hard to get.
To help you avoid this holiday bloat and still fit in that little black dress, here are some simple tips to follow!
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I cannot stress this one enough! Water is an essential part of reducing and avoiding bloating. You can even increase the benefits of drinking water by adding fresh lemon to your water to help alkalize the body and keep the kidneys flushing so that you do not retain excess water around the hips and belly.
Even if you only choose 1 thing to do from this list I would stress that this one be it. Make an effort to drink at least 3 liters of clean water daily and even more when alcohol and sugar are being consumed.
Avoid the grains and dairy! Try sticking with lean protein, healthy fats, and vegetables when you have the chance. These foods are filling yet less bloat promoting and easier to digest. Raw vegetables are loaded with fiber to fill you up and cleanse the liver, and water to cleanse the kidneys.
Avoid the breads, pasta, and rice dishes and opt for whole food dishes like grilled or roasted meats, sauteed, steamed, or roasted vegetables, and broth based or pureed soups.
Avoid the sugary holiday drinks and opt for a more refreshing variety with less sugar. Many of those holiday drinks are loaded with sugar and unnecessary calories. If you are going to drink alcohol opt for a healthier version of that holiday cocktail by using fresh juices and sparkling water like this recipe below.
- 2 cups champagne
- 1 cup pomegranate juice
- 1 cup sparkling water
- 1/2 cup citrus vodka
- Lemon twists, for garnish
Or even better, you can have a festive non alcoholic version of this drink:
- 2 1/2 cups sparkling water
- 2 cups pomegranate juice
- 2 TBSP fresh mint leaves
- 1 lime
Add a small amount of sparkling water, pomegranate juice, and all the fresh mint (adjusting more or less to taste) to a shaker tin and muddle mint and half a lime with the liquid. Add the rest of liquid and some ice and shake vigorously. Pour over ice and garnish with mint and lime. Recipe makes several glasses to share!
Keep that digestive fire roaring! Making sure that your digestion is in the best working order will help prevent bloating. There are several things you can do to help your digestive system stay fired up.
- Chew your food well before swallowing to allow your body time to create necessary digestive juices and enzymes.
- Do not drink fluids while eating. These fluids water down your digestive acids and prevent proper breakdown of foods.
- Take extra digestive enzymes and hydrochloric acid with meals.
- Chew on fennel seeds after your meal to calm down any possible bloating.
- Drink ginger or mint herbal tea after meals.
- Eat slowly to avoid over-eating.
- Drink a large glass of water 1/2 hour before your meal.
- Eat in a relaxed state and not on the go in your car or standing or walking.
Control stress!!!!!!!! This is a biggie! The more stress you are under the more likely you are going to reach for those wrong foods and end up eating the very things that will cause bloating and gas.
Stress also raises cortisol levels which raise blood sugar and impede digestion. Chronic stress situations can cause weight gain, water retention, and bloating. Make sure that you are taking time for yourself this holiday season and get out and get some exercise every day, get a massage, take a yoga class, get your sweat on, or instead of meeting up with your girlfriends for a drink why not meet somewhere beautiful for a leisurely walk or hike.
Enjoy your holidays, be safe, and stay healthy!!!!!
Brandy Augustine PhD