Holiday Weight Gain Doesn’t Need to be Another Thing to Stress About


Dr. Alicia Rogers N.D.

Here’s some good news. According to a recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine, most non-obese Americans only gain about 1 pound during the holiday season. If you exercise, manage stress, and eat right most of the time, you can stave off the weight gain and maybe even drop a few extra pounds.

Stress is always higher around the holidays. Whether you’re trying to find the perfect gift for everyone else, fighting off the winter illnesses that are going around, or dealing with winter blahs, there are hormones surging through your body that love to cause weight gain, cortisol and insulin.

Ongoing stress elevates the hormone cortisol, which is responsible for higher blood sugar and abdominal weight gain. High blood sugar can trigger insulin resistance. Normally, insulin helps turn sugar into energy. But, when you have insulin resistance, the cells don’t take in the sugar and it gets turned into fat instead.

There are several things that help keep cortisol and insulin in balance. A study by The University of California at San Francisco found that in obese people who engaged in stress reducing mindfulness practices, such as meditation and body awareness, gained less weight than the control group and had lower cortisol levels.

Drinking green tea can help keep stress hormones down. It is a rich source of the neurotransmitter theanine, which has a calming effect on the nervous system. The best diet for balancing blood sugar includes a balance of lean protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats with each meal.

Cortisol can be decreased with supplemental theanine, magnolia or phosphatidylserine. Insulin resistance can be countered by taking the mineral chromium, up to 1000 mcg daily. The herb gymnema, also called “the sugar destroyer”, can help keep your levels in check as well.

Dr. Rogers of Grace Good Health Can be reached at:
442 NW 4th St Suite 101
In Corvallis

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