The Buffet Table
You already know what the holidays do to your waistline (that's what stretch fabrics are for), but some seasonal eats can also wreak havoc on your appearance. Here, Dr. Bank identifies the worst offenders.
Salty Snacks: Everyone's eyes look a little swollen in the morning, but chowing down on salty foods (like mini hotdogs and Swedish meatballs) can cause water retention, which, in turn, leaves you with bigger bags than normal. Find out how to get rid of puffy eyes fast!
Fatty Dinner: If you pile your plate with prime rib, buttery mashed potatoes, and stuffing (and enjoy several nights of leftovers), you're asking for acne. According to Dr. Bank, eating a lot of fatty (and sugary) food can trigger an increase in insulin production, which ramps up your body's production of the male hormone, androgen. Androgen is responsible for excessive sebum production, and as you know, sebum clogs pores and attracts bacteria, resulting in acne.
Dessert Overload: From pumpkin pie with whipped cream to sweet potato casserole with marshmallows, the holidays are an endless parade of sugary treats. But know that going overboard at dessert time can mean premature aging, sagging skin, and wrinkles, says Dr. Banks. Excess sugar is linked with a natural process called glycation, where blood sugar attaches to proteins and results in Advanced Glyacting End products (AGEs). AGE molecules cause premature aging, dull skin, and sagging skin. The increased AGE molecules also cause skin to be more susceptible to sun damage, because AGE molecules deactivate the bodys natural antioxidant enzymes.
The Solution: While we'd never tell you to skip your grandmother's famous green bean casserole or pass on your beloved aunt's ooey gooey pecan pie, there are several ways to enjoy your holiday meals while minimizing the damage to your skin (and body). Check out A to Z of Healthy Holiday Habits for tons of great tips.