Afraid you'll pig out at the holiday dinner table? How to Avoid Overeating This Thanksgiving An interview with health educator Dr. Christopher Mohr, PhD RD CSSD, Sports Nutrition Advisor for Men's Fitness Magazine Does the sight of steaming mashed potatoes drenched with melted butter and homemade gravy make your heart beat faster? Does the sound of an electric carving knife buzzing through succulent roasted ham and oven browned turkey start pools of saliva forming in your mouth? Does the smell of hot apple pie and freshly baked cookies send shivers of delight racing up and down your spine? Lets face it -- most of us, even those of us with willpower of steel, are going to sit down at the dinner table this holiday season, take one look at the sea of goodies spread before us, then dive in face-first and keep eating until relatives yank our lifeless bodies off the desert platter and pronounce us clinically comatose. Aside from locking ourselves in a closet for a few weeks this winter, is there any way we can prevent ourselves from pigging-out and “blimping up” during the holidays? According to nutrition expert Dr. Christopher Mohr, the “cure” for holiday overeating is actually quite simple. “To stop the feeling of hunger, a hormone called “leptin” must be present in the part of your brain that controls your eating behavior,” Dr. Mohr says. “When leptin levels drop, you get hungry. When they go up, you feel full.” To increase leptin levels in the brain, Dr. Mohr suggests the simplest way is to eat fish or consume fish oil. “Researchers have found a fish-rich diet not only raises leptin levels, but fish consumption also makes the brain more sensitive to leptin – so the presence of just small amounts of the hormone will be enough to turn off hunger signals” he says. The essential fatty acids in fish oil provide several key benefits for those interested in controlling their weight. “Omega-3 has been found to trigger the body’s fat burning process, so it not only cuts appetite but also increases metabolism and weight loss,” says Dr. Mohr. Recent studies found that people could eat whatever they wanted and still lose weight as long as they took fish oil each day and exercised three times each week. “With fish oil, there's no reason for weight gain this holiday season,” he says. “In fact, a regimen of fish oil and mild exercise might even allow you to drop a few pounds over the holidays, even if you do ‘pig-out’ once or twice.”
ABOUT DR. CHRIS MOHR, Ph. D., RD., CSSD Dr. Mohr earned his Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Nutrition from The Pennsylvania State University and University of Massachusetts, respectively. He earned his PhD in exercise physiology from the University of Pittsburgh and is a Registered Dietitian and Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics. Dr. Mohr is on the Advisory Board for Men's Fitness Magazine and has written over 500 articles for consumer publications, such as Men's Fitness, Weight Watchers, Men's Health, and Fitness, to name a few. He serves as media spokesperson for Nordic Naturals.
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