Every year it's the same story. I promise myself I'm not going to over eat, over celebrate and under sleep, but every year I do. By the time the New Year comes around, I have so many resolutions to make that I don't know where to start. Thankfully, Dr. Oz has some easy tips for getting back on track.
The worst kind of damage we do to ourselves over the holidays, says Dr. Oz, is packing on the belly fat which causes inflammation. We're literally "poisoning" ourselves because the belly fat sends
chemicals to the liver which irritates it and sets off all kinds of unpleasant reactions. Our joints hurt, our energy is gone. It is, as he says, a short circuiting of the body.
But there is hope.
Here are the five most important things a person can do to undo holiday damage:
#1 Start walking today.
#2 Tell people. Go public about your goals and get enablers who reinforce your bad habits out of the way.
#3 Sleep. If you sleep the 7 hours you're supposed to, you won't crave carbs as much.
#4 Trick your body. Fool yourself when you're hungry by drinking water instead or eating or eating simple things like mints that "blow out your taste buds." It works.
#5 Automate your life. Eat the same healthy option for breakfast. Bring a healthy lunch to work every day. Keep snacks like nuts in your pockets, your desk, anywhere that's in easy reach, so you will never feel hungry. That, he says, is the real key to weight loss.
There are certain "power" foods that we should all be eating more of. Foods that "come out of the ground looking exactly the way they look when we eat them," he notes. These include antioxidant-rich vegetables, blueberries, apples, whole grains with lots of fiber and spicy foods!
*An interesting tip: if you eat spicy foods for breakfast, you won't eat as much at lunch.
There are also food we should start avoiding like the plague: trans fats (processed foods have lots) and saturated fats and anything with high-fructose corn syrup, especially soda. When you drink soda, he explains, it actually makes you hungrier and you end up eating more calories.
Muscle-building exercise is also key to undoing damage, as muscles burn calories even between workouts. This is even more important for women, says Dr. Oz, because we generally have less
muscle mass than men.
One other important thing to keep in mind— expect to fail. The main reason we fall off the rails this time of year, he says, is because we think we have to be perfect which, of course, is impossible. If we slip up, we should simply do as our GPS tell us when we miss a street, "make the first authorized U-turn" and get back with the program.
Check local listings for when and where to catch more with Dr. Oz.