Get your diet back on track after Thanksgiving

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In case you overlooked your best intentions and overindulged on Thanksgiving, don’t panic. While you may have enjoyed seconds or thirds of those creamy mashed potatoes and that velvety pumpkin pie, the truth is that some strategies can help you undo the damage and get back on track fast. Here are some easy steps to help you lighten up, and get those uncomfortably tight jeans feeling loose again.

Step 1: Get back to your normal eating schedule

I know you may be tempted to not eat, but skipping meals only forces your body to shift into conservation mode and burn fewer calories. Skipping meals can also make you more likely to store the fat you’ve gained, rather than letting it go. Steady meals, on the other hand, maximize metabolism, and help regulate blood sugar and insulin levels, as well. Try to eat breakfast within an hour of waking up, and eat your remaining meals three to five hours apart. Also, consider selecting a day’s worth of clean go-to meals to repeat for a few days. Your body loves consistency, so after it’s been thrown out of whack, repetition and regularity can go a long way in restoring balance.

Step 2: Reconfigure your proportions

Rather than drastically cutting calories, make non-starchy vegetables the focus of your meals, paired with lean protein, some good-for-you fat and small portions of healthy, slow-burning starch. One of the reasons you feel heavy after overeating is because your body stockpiles carbs in a form called glycogen, along with water. Cutting back, but not cutting carbs out completely, can help you level your energy and hunger while still allowing your body to let go of surplus starch.

Step 3: Get more potassium

On top of helping nerves and muscles function properly and regulating blood pressure and your body’s PH levels, potassium acts as a natural diuretic. Eating more helps you de-bloat and feel lighter by removing excess sodium out of your body and relieving water retention. Good sources include lima beans, spinach, Brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, avocados, lima beans, salmon, and mushrooms.

Step 4: Drink water only, and sip more of it

Make water your only beverage and consume more. Water supports optimal metabolism, and helps naturally curb appetite. Drinking more water also flushes out excess sodium to help you quickly de-bloat, and it gets your digestive system moving.

Step 5: Up your activity

One way to feel lighter quickly is to burn the carbs your body stockpiles when you’ve eaten more starch than usual. To do this, get your muscles moving and your heart rate up, through anything from brisk walks to a spin class. And remember that small boosts in your activity level add up to help, including taking stairs, or dancing in your living room!

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