One holiday party too many and before you know it, things start to feel a little snug around your waistline. Sound familiar? Try these three smart, simple tips to help curb cravings and support a healthy weight:
- Load up on protein to curb cravings. Eating plenty of protein will help you stay satisfied throughout the day and reduce those sneaky holiday cravings. Aim for 12 portions of protein daily from sources such as poultry, meat and seafood as well as dairy, eggs, tofu, tempeh and nuts. And don’t forget breakfast! Researchers from the University of Missouri recently found that eating a high-protein breakfast helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels and control cravings (especially for sweets) later in the day.
- Get plenty of sleep for healthy metabolism. No matter how hectic your holiday schedule, sleep is something you simply can’t go without. The connection between sleep and healthy weight management has to do with two important hormones: leptin (which tells the body you are full and it is time to stop eating) and ghrelin (which signals hunger). When you are sleep deprived, leptin levels decrease and ghrelin levels increase, causing you to eat more. Getting between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night can help maintain a healthy metabolism and promote successful weight management.
- Add more probiotic foods to support a healthy weight.* In addition to their role in supporting digestive and immune health, several recent studies have found a link between the beneficial bacteria called probiotics and healthy weight management. Basically, each of us has a unique balance of bacteria in the gut that promotes good digestion and immune health, and scientists believe that same balance is involved with helping us maintain a healthy weight. Probiotics can be obtained through the diet by eating yogurt, kefir and other fermented foods, as well as by taking a daily probiotic supplement.