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6 Ways to Curb Your Appetite During the Holidays

1. Exercise

How can exercise curb your appetite you ask? We eat during the holidays for a number of reasons. As a stress reliever, mindless munching because there are treats available, socially, etc. Exercise can help to reduce turning to food for things like stress relief.

2. Create Low-Calorie Comforts

During the colder months our bodies crave carbohydrate rich foods because the sugars and starches in those foods heat us up. When we eat those sugary, starchy foods, our blood sugar spikes and then falls, which leads to use wanting to eat again, and keeps our appetite triggered.

3. Get Some Sleep

Often our appetites are triggered by out of whack hormones. When we do not get enough sleep, hormone levels are affected, and can lead to over-eating. This is often done in an attempt to gain energy, when what we need is sleep. Sleep is often linked to weight gain and loss, for this reason.

4. Get Some Sun

Believe it or not, shorter days can lead to craving carbohydrates. Especially for those who suffer from Season Affective Disorder, or SAD. “People who are affected with SAD have lower blood levels of serotonin,” Wolfe-Radbille says. “Not surprisingly, those carbohydrate-rich foods give us a serotonin rush, so for many people, winter food cravings are a way of self-medicating.”

5. Keep Healthy On Hand

Keep healthy foods on hand. During the holidays, conditions are ripe for over-indulging. It is cold, dark, and stressful, so cravings sky rocket and surge. As most people do not crave things like celery and whole wheat crackers it is important to make the healthy things easy, appealing, and available. And those unhealthy things harder to access. Otherwise all that boredom, stress, cold, and dark lead to face plants in double chocolate brownies. If you find your appetite grows during the holidays, consider spending some time outdoors in the sunlight each day, or consider light therapy as a way to increase serotonin.

6. Hydrate

Stay hydrated. Keep a drink of water in your hands at all times. You will feel less hungry, and occupy your hands so there is less mindless munching. Dehydration is often disguised and hunger. Next time you get a craving, ask yourself if you are really craving that, or if a big glass of water might help

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