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by Tanya Kwiez •


Balancing holiday food excess

One of the great things about Christmas is sharing an abundance of food with loved ones. Chocolates, snacks and left overs are lying around and we also tend not to eat regular meals at this time of year. The gastronomic indulgence of seasonal parties also adds to the increased amount of food consumed. Overeating on rare occasions does not generally cause any harm, however being mindful about balancing holiday food eating can be a healthier nutritional approach to the holidays.   What happens to your body when you overeat? Overeating makes the stomach expand beyond its normal size. The extended stomach pushes against other organs, causing you to feel uncomfortable. This discomfort may make you feel lethargic and sluggish. Gas production is also increased, leaving you with an uncomfortable full feeling.  Your organs also have to work harder when you eat too much. They secrete more hormones and enzymes to break down the excess food. The breaking down of food causes the stomach to produce hydrochloric acid and when you overeat, this acid can come back up into the oesophagus resulting in heartburn. Consumption of high fat foods that are commonly eaten at Christmas, can increase your susceptibly to heartburn. The metabolism is also sped up while it attempts to burn off additional calories. This can make you feel temporarily hot, sweaty or even dizzy (4).   Balancing the appetite with specialised functional foods Scientists have discovered that a specialised structure found in the cells of green plants including spinach, may assist with reducing food cravings and produce feelings of fullness. Thylakoids are tiny, biologically active structures that are extracted from spinach leaves and then concentrated. When thylakoids are consumed, they can offer specific health benefits to humans including significantly assisting appetite control as well as weight management and its associated metabolic disturbances (1). There is also a promising long-term outlook regarding the potential benefits of spinach-derived thylakoids in managing and preventing obesity and diabetes (2).   How do thylakoids help to manage healthy appetite? Thylakoids have been proven to suppress appetite, reduce the craving for foods high in fat and sugar and promote feelings of fullness. Researchers believe they do this by influencing two hormones that are important in the regulation of appetite; cholecystokinin and ghrelin (3). Simply put; they can help reduce meal and snack sizes and make you feel fuller sooner. Consumption of thylakoid-rich spinach extract has also shown to alter digestion of fats and facilitate weight management. There have also been improvements to insulin levels and further metabolic benefits seen. Overall, both weight loss and a reduction in body fat mass are the most significant changes that thylakoids have produced so far (1, 2).    Consuming thylakoids (the active ingredient in Slim Down) A total of 6 human clinical trials have shown that a daily dose of thylakoids taken with breakfast or lunch can help to control appetite (and also manage weight in those that are overweight.)  Activated Nutrients Slim Down has made the consumption of thylakoids easy and convenient. Simply mix 2 teaspoons of this specialised powder in a glass of water and serve immediately. It is recommended to take Slim Down prior to or with your breakfast meal to help control hunger levels across the day.   References: 1. Stenblom EL, Egecioglu E, Landin-Olsson M, Erlanson-Albertsson C (2015). Consumption of thylakoid-rich spinach extract reduces hunger, increases satiety and reduces cravings for palatable food in overweight women. Appetite; 91:209-19. 2. Rebello, Candida J et al, (2015). “Acute Effects of a Spinach Extract Rich in Thylakoids on Satiety: A Randomized Controlled Crossover Trial.” Journ of Amer Col Nutr; vol. 34,6;470-7. 3. Köhnke et al, (2009). Thylakoids promote release of satiety hormone cholecystokinin while reducing insulin in healthy humans. Scandinavian Journal Gastr; 44;712-9. 4. The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, (2018). What happens when you over eat?, accessed 29/10/2021, available at: