The holidays are a time of celebration, which can come with late nights, sugary and alcoholic drinks, and delicious meals. In other words, seasonal festivities with loved ones may be a great time, but they are not always great for your health.
Some of the health concerns that are on the back of our minds during the holidays are bloating and weight gain. We should all enjoy the celebration and partake in the indulgence, but there are also ways to support your gut and metabolic health to avoid unwanted bloat and weight gain during the festivities:
Tips to Avoid Holiday Bloat & Weight Gain
Prep Is Everything
Sometimes, when it comes to bloating, it matters just as much what you do before the meal as what you eat during the meal:
Where to start? Sleep.
Sleep is what repairs and restores our bodily processes and when your body does not get enough sleep, it looks for other ways to fuel your systems. That is why when you are really tired, you are more likely to crave sweets, processed foods, and carbohydrates because they are quick ways to give your body energy.
Moreover, studies show that just one night of inadequate sleep can cause an imbalance in the hormones that control hunger signaling. A night of poor sleep is linked to an increased production of ghrelin, “the hunger hormone,” and decreased leptin levels, or the satiety hormone.
Therefore, before a big holiday meal, getting a quality night’s sleep is likely to decrease the hormone signaling involved in overeating.
Treat Yourself to an IV Drip
If you’re suffering from an underlying vitamin deficiency, your body is more likely to signal you to overeat to compensate. This is because feeling full and satisfied isn’t just about whether or not your stomach is full–satiety also depends on the vitamins we eat. There are many different amino acids and micronutrients (such as B vitamins) that are involved in satiety and appetite regulation. When you’re deficient in these vitamins and amino acids, you’re likely to overeat to feel satisfied.
As our bodies only absorb 15-30% of nutrients from oral supplements, IV Therapy is a great way to prep and nourish your body for the holidays as it ensures 100% absorption of vitamins and minerals.
This is particularly beneficial for individuals with chronic illnesses, such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Fibromyalgia, autoimmune disease, and those with chronic infections (especially Lyme disease), often have functional nutritional deficiencies that compromise cellular function. These deficiencies affect the body’s ability to make energy from nutrients and fight infections.
Holtorf Medical Group offers a range of IV Therapy Drips that can be customized to your unique needs such as energy, immunity, detoxification, and more.
Prioritize Gut Health
- Nurturing your gut with high-quality probiotics is a great way to equip your gut for holiday indulgence. Probiotics are full of “good bacteria” that improve intestinal tract functionality and fend off inflammation. In regards to combatting holiday bloating, they promote digestion, particularly proteins, and reduce the risk of bowel toxins, gas, and intestinal toxicity. Tip: Optimize the efficacy of your probiotics by taking them at night.
- Bone Broth: Bone broth is great before (and after) a big holiday meal is full of glycine, which decreases inflammation in the gut and improves the tissues that line your gut. Bone broth also contains gut-healing gelatin, which helps you digest food by increasing hormones and gastric juices in your gut.
- BPC-157: According to research, the peptide BPC-157 has the potential to support the gut lining, reduce inflammation, and better equipt the gut to deal with toxins.
Limit Carbonation and Caffeine
You may crave caffeine to get through the holiday meal prep and cooking but use it sparingly as caffeine is harsh on the gut and can lead to symptoms such as diarrhea and indigestion. Given that holiday meals are already a lot for the gut to handle, it is best to avoid caffeine if you can.
Carbonated beverages are also best to avoid/limit as they can really bloat your belly and the gas from the bubbles can get trapped in your stomach.
After-Meal Tips to Avoid Bloat & Weight Gain
Walk or Exercise
Many have heard that walking after a meal helps clear your mind and wards off the post-meal sluggishness. But there is actually scientific evidence that backs post-meal movement. Research shows that going for a 15-minute walk after a meal can improve digestion by increasing the rate at which food is broken down and reducing bloating. This has also been shown to reduce blood sugar levels, which can benefit your metabolic health in the long run and reduce the risk of Type II Diabetes.
Plus, walking after a meal can promote the release of endorphins and hormones such as serotonin, which in turn supports good sleep, helps regulate appetite, improves learning and memory, and increases positive feelings, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Hydrate Water helps break down food so that your body can absorb nutrients and reduces the risk of constipation. By staying hydrated before and after holiday meals, you can aid digestion and avoid unwanted bloat.
Plan for a Post-Holiday Detox
At the end of the day, your mind should not be consumed with avoiding bloat and weight gain during the holiday season. Let yourself indulge and live in the moment and plan to give your health extra attention after the festivities. Schedule a week of eating anti-inflammatory foods to cleanse and detox or try a fasting-mimicking diet to reset your system.
Fasting is an effective way to remove cellular waste from your system as it can increase the production of enzymes involved in detoxification. Dr. Valter Longo, Italian-American biogerontologist and cell biologist, helped pioneer fasting-mimicking diets at the University of Southern California’s Longevity Institute and his research demonstrated that these diets “trick” the body into fasting mode allowing you to reap the benefits of fasting while still eating minimal calories throughout the day.
Looking to take a less intense approach? Consider incorporating anti-inflammatory foods into your diet.
One of the best ways to plan ahead and recover from holiday indulgence is Ozone Therapy. Ozone is a three-oxygen molecule (O3) that maintains antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Ozone therapy is an oxidative therapy that can be used to treat and manage conditions that cause inflammation or infections, including Lyme disease and other chronic illnesses.
Ozone has been shown to have healing, detoxifying, and anti-inflammatory qualities. Forms of ozone therapy can include blood (IV therapy), rectal insufflation, ear ozone, and others.
Intravenous ozone therapy is achieved through a process known as autohemotherapy by separating and oxygenating the patient’s blood. First, blood is drained, then it is exposed to a precise amount of ozone, and finally, re-injected into the body via a catheter. Although this process may sound intimidating, the experience does not differ much from other IV therapies. Benefits include:
Eliminate toxins from the gut (and thus, the rest of the body) Restore the gut microbiome to an optimal state Kill unwanted bacteria, parasites, viruses, and yeast in the gut Improve circulation Support detoxification Promote health aging Learn more here
Bye Bye Bloat
Have questions about more ways to combat bloating and weight gain or want to schedule your IV Therapy or Ozone appointment to give yourself the gift of health this holiday season? Contact us today