To keep bad allergies from ruining your summer beach body, here are a few tips:
• Opt for newer antihistamines.
“In the old days, there were sedating antihistamines that some would claim would make you hungry,” adds Dr. Eghrari-Sabet. Those antihistamines, most common in older over-the-counter medicines like Benadryl and Chlor-Trimeton, are being replaced by newer drugs like Zyrtec, Allegra, and Claritin. Though Zyrtec and Allergra were the most common drugs in the Yale study linking antihistamine use to weight gain, Dr. Eghrari-Sabet says that increased appetite is not a common side effect she’s seen in her patients.
However, Zyrtec may make you more tired than the others. It’s considered a minimally sedating antihistamine, unlike Allegra and Claritin, which are non-sedating. So if you want a medication that won’t make you prone to skipping workouts, choose one of the non-sedating medications.
• Get diagnosed.
If over-the-counter medications are making you hungry, tired, or just generally miserable, see an allergist. Knowing what you’re allergic to makes it easy to find prescription medications without all the side effects, says Dr. Eghrari-Sabet. And, she adds, “the most important thing an allergist has access to is an allergy shot. Allergy shots don’t have side effects like antihistamines do.”
• Grab the water.
Make sure you keep yourself well hydrated whenever you’re taking allergy medications, to prevent your mind from confusing thirst with hunger. Add fruit, cucumbers, or herbs to your water to make it a more interesting drink.
• Fight allergies with food.
If you do find that allergies or allergy medications are causing you to overeat, try to indulge in healthy food. In fact, there are a number of healthy foods that provide allergy relief and fight back hunger pangs at the same time.
For ideas natural allergy relief ideas, see Soothe Spring Allergies: 10 Food and Herb Fixes for Allergy Relief.