Believe or not, the holiday season is almost upon us again! And, as we all know, with the holidays comes large amounts of food. Whether we’re talking about Thanksgiving, Christmas, or even New Year’s, almost every special day around this time of year seems to be accompanied by copious amounts of food and beverages. Afterall, what good is a holiday if you can’t enjoy a delicious meal with friends and family?
The problem is, from Halloween to the beginning of January, many of us unfortunately pack on some unwanted pounds. In addition to the holidays themselves, there are ample amounts of tasty treats enticing us to snack constantly. Halloween candy can last well into November—until it’s just about time to start having holiday cookies in the kitchen.
With all the sweets, feasts, family get togethers, and generally busy schedules, how can you help control your weight during the holiday season? We’ve put together a list of tips to help you feel good and maintain your figure this fall and winter—plus, you can add CBD to your daily regimen to potentially give yourself a leg up!
Top Tips for Maintaining Weight during the Holidays
Let’s face it, dieting is difficult enough even when it’s not Thanksgiving or Christmas. Plus, the holidays are about having fun and enjoying yourself. So let’s just skip the suspense and assume we’re not going to deprive ourselves and avoid the meals altogether. Here are some other things you can do instead:
- Control your portions – This one is huge. You can enjoy holiday turkey and mash potatoes and anything else, but just keep your portions under control. You don’t have to completely engorge yourself or eat to the point that requires unbuttoning your pants. Afterall, nothing beats leaving some food for leftovers the next day!
- Eat slowly and listen to your body – One of the best ways to control how much you eat at big meals is to eat slowly. Give your stomach time to send signals to your brain about how full you are. The slower you eat, the less you’ll eat before you feel full. Once you feel full, listen to what your body is telling you and save the rest for leftovers.
- Be active – I know we’re all busy during the holidays, but finding even 15 minutes a day to do some type of physical activity can make all the difference for the end of year weight gain. Take the opportunity after a big meal to walk around the neighborhood with visiting family. You can talk, catch up, and walk off all the delicious food you just ate. If you have days off of work, use some of that extra time to hit the elusive 10,000 steps a day mark.
- Save the treats for specific events – Holiday cookies and other treats are one of the best parts of this time of year. But if you’re trying to control your weight, then having them all around the house can be problematic. Do yourself a favor and put the treats away and out of sight until it’s time for the Christmas party or holiday get together. There will be plenty of time to enjoy them then!
- Get plenty of sleep – A lack of sleep can lead to weight gain. Give yourself a leg up during the holidays by making sure you always get enough sleep to feel energized and ready to be active during the day.
- Eat a lot of protein and fiber – Let’s face it, holiday meals are full of lots of carbs and fatty foods. Do your best to eat high fiber foods, like vegetables, fruits, and nuts, as well as lean protein filled foods, like chicken, fish, and beans. Both will make you feel satisfied and keep you from feeling hungry and having the urge to snack for a longer period of time than high carb foods.
Try CBD to Help Control Weight Gain
CBD has the potential to assist with weight loss by acting through our endocannabinoid system. Specifically, adjusting how the endocannabinoid system regulates metabolism and digestion. As we mention in a previous article of ours, there are three primary ways that CBD may help with weight loss and controlling weight gain during the holiday season.
Those three ways are:
- CBD and Mitochondrial Activity – Think of mitochondria as the power centers in your cells. Essentially, they convert the sugars, fats, and proteins that you consume into energy. CBD is thought to regulate mitochondrial activity to achieve balance, boosting metabolism when necessary and limiting it when necessary.
- CBD and Fat Browning – In simple terms, fat browning is the process by which white fat (“bad” fat) is converted into brown fat (“good” fat). White fat is what stores excess energy (usually around your gut hanging over your belt) for situations where we may face starvation. The problem with that is that few of us in western countries will ever face such an extreme lack of calories that we’ll need white fat to survive. So it builds up and messes with our metabolism. Brown fat, on the other hand, generates heat and burns calories, meaning that converting white fat to brown fat can help you shed unneeded and unwanted fat stores. According to this study, published in Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, CBD may help us transform cumbersome white fat, to energy producing brown fat.
- CBD and Insulin Regulation – An imbalance of insulin in our blood can overwhelm our liver and pancreas, disrupting our ability to effectively process nutrients. An overload of insulin in the blood actually inhibits our ability to burn fat, which is bad news for those of us trying to lose weight. This preclinical study found that CBD helps our bodies to stabilize insulin levels when they are too low or too high and even reported that CBD reduced the likelihood or diabetes in non-diabetic mice.
In addition to these benefits, CBD may also help with weight loss and control through its effect on sleep (remember sleep is important for weight loss and gain), anxiety, stress, and pain and inflammation (which can keep you from being active).
Here are some other Urban Roots articles on those topics below:
Above All Else, Enjoy Yourself during the Holidays!
The most important thing is to not feel bad or stress out during the holidays. This season is for enjoyment and spending quality time with friends and family. Try the tips we discussed above and see if adding CBD to your daily regimen helps you feel better and experience positive results!