Holiday weight loss can seem impossible. But there are foods that will help you lose weight, not gain it during the holiday season. Americans gain one pound between Thanksgiving and Christmas, according to research on holiday weight gain.
While one pound may not seem like much, that one pound can easily turn into several more when you develop the habit of indulging and overeating. You can ramp up your intake of fat-burning foods during the holidays, and keep those holiday pounds off by eating these 7 foods.
Experiment with replacing your warm morning bowls of oatmeal with quinoa. Quinoa is low on the glycemic index, and high in protein, dietary fiber, and essential vitamins that promote weight loss. Top your morning quinoa with a poached egg, or with nuts and natural sweeteners like honey and maple syrup.
This delicious holiday spice lowers blood sugar and bad cholesterol, and helps reduce bloating. The sweet flavor of cinnamon can curb cravings for desserts that tend to be more fattening, and reduces inflammation that may contribute to weight gain. Add a teaspoon of cinnamon to a cup of tea, or sprinkle over breakfast cereal, oatmeal, and quinoa.
While all citrus fruits are loaded with vitamin C, which drives weight loss, lemons contain a unique acid compound that helps stimulate and optimize digestion. If most of your excess weight is in your abdominal region, lemons can help reduce bloating and flatten your tummy. Squeeze lemon into water and tea, and over fish and salads for added zest.
4. Chili peppers
Chili peppers are high in capsaicin — a natural fat-burning ingredient that increases your metabolism. Chili peppers are also high in fiber, which helps keep you feeling full for longer periods of time, and promotes healthy digestion. Chop up chili peppers and add to eggs, stir-fry meals, and stews, or add to burgers and sandwiches for an extra spicy kick.
Beans are especially high in protein, dietary fiber, and essential B vitamins that boost metabolism, energy, and weight loss. Black beans, kidney beans, and garbanzo beans rank high on the list of beans that offer the highest number of weight-loss benefits. Throw these beans into slow-cookers to make hearty chilis, soups, and stews, or turn them into bean dips you can bring to the next holiday party.
6. Apple cider vinegar
ACV offers a number of major health benefits for weight loss. Studies have shown that ACV helps prevent fat gain, regulates your blood sugar, helps you feel full, and boosts metabolism. Despite its many health benefits, ACV isn’t necessarily the tastiest food, so try mixing this substance with apple cider and cinnamon to dilute its flavor.
7. Peppermint tea
Complement your holiday season with a warm mug of peppermint tea, which naturally relaxes your digestive tract to relieve constipation, indigestion, and bloating. Peppermint also suppresses your appetite and helps reduce stress — the latter of which can trigger weight gain. When buying peppermint tea, make sure the tea lacks sugar and natural flavors, and stick to buying brands that contain 100 percent peppermint.
Need help meeting your weight-loss goals this year? Garcia Weight Loss offers personalized weight-loss programs designed to help you look and feel your best. Contact us today for your no-cost consultation!
Medically reviewed by Jay J. Garcia, MD on December 11, 2017