Help, I'm arriving during IkPas!

About a third of all participants in IkPas lose weight during their break period. On the way to a healthier lifestyle, losing a few pounds can be a nice side effect. But what if you gain weight during your alcohol break? There is a good chance that you have compensated for the lack of your regular drink a little too much. Nutritionist Lonneke Frantzen explains what the different types of hunger have to do with this. She also shares practical tips to satisfy the hunger for comfort food in a healthy way.

Many participants in IkPas feel fitter, more rested and mentally and physically stronger after a few weeks of alcohol break. Still, skipping your regular beer or wine can feel like something is missing at first. And then a rummage in the snack drawer is very tempting. Nutritionist Lonneke Frantzen explains where this need comes from: “At times when it feels like you are denying yourself something - for example by not drinking alcohol for a while - you will find the cosiness, distraction or comfort that you normally find in this in a different way. to fill in. Food, in particular, is a favorite comforting agent. This is partly learned behavior, who has not been comforted with a candy in the past. And it works. If you taste something tasty, your brain produces happiness hormones. So you really feel better for it. Spoiling yourself with food out of emotion is not bad at all. It becomes more difficult when a fixed pattern emerges. Then there is the danger that you replace one habit with another and you can gain weight unintentionally.”

Snacking as a distraction

Do you belong to the category of participants who can keep up with IkPas, but suddenly find themselves on the couch more often with a roll of cookies, bag of chips or bar of chocolate? Then it can help to find out where your appetite is coming from at that moment. Lonneke: “There are different types of hunger. Of course there is the physical hunger, where your stomach growls and your body needs nourishment. But we also know eye hunger or nasal hunger (you see or smell something tasty and get hungry spontaneously) and mouth hunger (the desire to bite or chew something). Another type of hunger is emotional hunger. Then you want to eat to reward, distract or comfort yourself. If you think about why you want to eat before grabbing something tasty, you will deal with it more consciously. This can help prevent you from eating mainly for distraction.”

Tips to combat cravings

Do you notice that since IkPas you feel like sweet or savory more often? One way to satisfy this craving is to drink water. Lonneke: “Our brains don't always recognize the difference between hunger and thirst. Because of this, we sometimes think we are hungry, but our body actually just needs fluids. Drinking a glass of water or a large cup of tea helps to reduce snack cravings.” Would you like to eat something? Replace your unhealthy snack with a healthier alternative. For example, make your own popcorn or take some unsalted nuts. Fruit can be a sweet alternative. Or if you're craving chocolate, choose a piece of 70% dark chocolate. What also helps: serve your snack in a nice bowl. This makes you eat with more attention. Furthermore, especially if you do give in to that filled cake, that cheese or that bonbon: enjoy it. Because hey, you better not drink; )

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