Enzymes Ease Holiday Overeating
During the holiday season, fun and feasting often go hand-in-hand. Along with the frenzy of activity and bounty of food comes the tendency to overeat. The first step towards helping patients with this issue is to put it on their radar; and then help them create a healthy eating plan that will get them through this hectic, food-filled time of year.
Here are some tips you may want to share with your patients when it comes to overeating:
- Pause frequently. As we all know, it takes time for the brain to catch up with the stomach when it comes to satiety. Pausing before taking seconds or filling the plate fully is a great way for the brain to catch up with that true feeling of fullness.
- Alcohol advice. Alcohol can increase appetite so it’s never a good idea to drink alcohol on an empty stomach. In addition, to avoid drinking too much alcohol and to counter its negative effects, drink a big glass of water in between alcoholic beverages. Alcohol is dehydrating, and drinking water can literally prevent headaches later on.
- Get some distance. Don’t hang out next to the buffet or the snacks. This will help avoid mindless munching as you socialize. If that’s not possible (because there is just so much food around!), chewing gum, sucking on mints or enjoying some flavored seltzer water with lime can reduce the temptation to keep snacking.
- Take a walk. Even a brief walk after a meal aids peristalsis and controls blood sugar. Suggesting a walk with family or friends before dessert is a great way to work off those extra calories and get your digestive system moving.
- Eat mindfully. “Mindless” eating is a recipe for overeating. The holidays are a great time to slow down and eat with all of the senses: sight, smell, hearing, touch, and taste. In general, research shows that mindful eating helps people maintain normal body weight and have better overall health.
- Take enzymes. Even after following these key tips, patients may still struggle with digestive issues associated with overeating. That’s when enzymes make perfect sense.
Digestive enzymes such as bromelain, amylase, cellulase, lactase, lipase, and protease are some of the key enzymes that have been shown to help support digestion when taken with or directly after meals.* Amylase helps break down carbohydrates and starch in the diet.* Lipase breaks down fats and protease breaks down protein.* These three enzymes alone will help digest the majority of most meals.* In addition, lactase helps break down dairy (lactose) and cellulase helps break down cellulose.* Bromelain is a group of proteolytic enzymes that come from pineapple. All of these enzymes work synergistically to help support optimal digestion.*
While the best plan is to not overeat in the first place, when that’s not possible, digestive enzymes can help most patients find relief fast.* The holidays may be a good time to have patients give digestive enzymes a try.
Ianiro G, Pecere S, Giorgio V, et al. Current Drug Metabolism. 2016;17:187-193.
O’Reilly G, Cook L, Spruijt-Metz D, Black DS. Obesity Review. 2014;15(6):453-461.
Roxas M. Alternative Medicine Review. 2008;13(4):307-14.
Swami OC, Shah NJ. International Journal of Basic & Clinical Pharmacology. 2017;6(5):1035-1041.