Christmas is only 3 and a half weeks away, and your calendar is booked with holiday parties until then! What to do!? There are plenty of reasons why we tend to gain weight this time of year, and holiday parties are one of the biggest reasons. So how do you handle the holiday season with minimal damage to your waistline?
Stop when you feel full. Seems simple right? The excitement and stress of the holidays causes us to grab all of our favorite foods and sweets for comfort, and sometimes it feels like you are bingeing and can’t stop.
So how do you keep yourself from overdoing it?
Here’s my secret.
Your body is seeking Serotonin. This is the brain hormone that controls your mood, appetite, sleep, and digestion. Having a decreased level of serotonin causes depression, weight gain, increased appetite, and can lead to increased anxiety and stress. Food, especially comfort foods, are a source of serotonin, and that’s why we feel so warm and fuzzy inside when we eat a piece of chocolate. But you are “medicating” the wrong way. So here are my top 3 ways to replenish Serotonin:
#1 Take your dog out for a walk
My favorite form of exercise? Taking my dog out for a walk. This works really well especially when I may not have time to go to the gym. Taking a walk, and the emotional connection I have with my dog, Lucky, quickly boosts my serotonin levels. Don’t have a pet, don’t fret. Talk a walk outside, connect with nature, get some sunlight, and your body automatically responds in a matter of minutes.
#2 Get a massage
Getting a massage is perfect for this time of the year when it is cold outside. Studies have shown that not only does a massage help you boost serotonin levels, it decreased the stress hormone, cortisol, that’s keeping you from losing weight. It’s also a great gift idea for family members, and yourself.
#3 Take 5-HTP 50mg to 100mg at bedtime
Serotonin comes from an amino acid called tryptophan, and taking 5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) is the precursor to the production of serotonin. It is a natural supplement that you can take to help you boost your levels on a regular basis.
So the next time you feel like overeating, stop and ask yourself if you have enough serotonin to help you truly stop when you feel full, and help you stay in control of emotional eating. Weight loss is a way of life and being aware is a big part of the battle. If you can keep yourself aware of why you have a hard time with weight loss during the holidays you can position yourself for losing weight for the new year!