Healthy Holiday Eating Tips

Thanksgiving is here which means we’ve officially kicked off the holiday season.  As we break bread with loved ones during these times of celebration and reflection we often tend to take feasting to another, many times uncomfortable and self destructive level.  Here again are a few tips for limiting the collateral damage and post meal regret, stomach ache and reactive hypoglycemic nap.

TIP 1: INTELLIGENT ORDER OF CONSUMPTION

I know. I know. It’s a mouthful (pun intended).  However different macronutrients (protein, fats and carbs) have different levels of impact on satiation or our perception of fullness, with protein having the greatest, followed by fats and then carbs.

To utilize this fact to your advantage, go heavier on the bird or hog first, followed by healthy fats like some grassfed butter, olive oil as a dressing or seasoning, or maybe even some coconut oil, which in my opinion goes good with just about anything and is beneficial across the board.

Do not be hesitant to consume these fats making the seemingly logical association that dietary fats = more body fat.  This is a topic for another post but is simply is not the case, as the more accurate association is excess dietary carbs = body fat.

Consume in this simple, intelligent order and bring on that satisfied feeling without becoming the human garbage disposal for the carb heavy favorites that fill the table and that special place in our hearts.

TIP 2: TAKE YOUR TIME

In order to take advantage of the effects noted in TIP 1, you need to allow time for the brain to receive the hormonally delivered message from the digestive system.  Like so many other situations in life, we look forward to a particular event only to rush through it, not even taking a second to breathe and enjoy the moment while in it.

Never is this so true than with holiday feeding frenzies, especially Thanksgiving, where we feed as though we are preparing for a winter long hibernation.

Admire the construction of your intelligently designed plate.

Take time to savor each individual seldom experienced taste that someone spent time to prepare.

Engage in or attentively listen to some of the surrounding conversations.

Taking time to enjoy that moment will allow the appropriate signals to reach the brain and make practicing self-control all that much easier.

TIP 3: DON’T FAST FOR THE FEAST

Another pitfall leading to gluttonous engorging is not eating throughout the day to save room for the big meal.  Creating this energy and blood sugar deficit can set you up for an out of control food overload followed by the subsequent blood sugar roller coaster, and eventual face plant into the couch.  While this makes for good holiday instagram posts for your guests, it could’ve been avoided had you not fasted to feast.

Eat as you would any other day leading up to “the meal.”  Enjoy a nice breakfast after your turkey trot or while you watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  Have lunch or a snack as you normally would throughout the day.

Maintaining your usual habits will keep your metabolism on a more even keel and help to curb becoming a rabid animal at the table, drool and all.

TIP 4: ENJOY

For many this kicks off what truly is “the most wonderful time of the year” appropriately with a day that should prompt reflection and expression of gratitude for at the very least, being here for another Thanksgiving.

Exhale.

Laugh.

Enjoy a “rare treat,” as my Mom would say.

And if you are interested in not falling too far off the tracks, implement the tips above.

Thank you.

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