Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

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.

Tips to Avoiding Holiday Binge Eating

Thanksgiving serves as the official kickoff to the holiday season.  A season filled with family, friends, fun and FOOD.  While I realize that most diets tend to slightly deviate (to put it nicely) during these feasts, here are a few ways that you can minimize the collateral damage that comes with those delicious dishes.

Keep a normal feeding schedule.

I realize use of the word “normal” is relative, but by this I mean getting up in the morning and eating breakfast, lunch and a snack as you normally would.  Avoid skipping regular meals with the thoughts of saving room for later. This primes the pump for some good ol’ fashion holiday binging and all the insulin spikes, abdominal discomfort and guilt that comes along with it.

Don’t feel obligated to jam pack the plate.

Despite what it sometimes turns into, holiday feeding time is not a competition to see who can build the heaviest plate. Take smaller portions and don’t be tempted to get everything on there in one shot.  Allow that turkey to be free range on your plate and breathe amongst the gravy pond, stuffing forest, and field of green beans.
Take your time, enjoy your food and if appropriate, the company.  You can always go back for seconds.  Before going back for an additional helping, relax another 10-15 minutes and converse with the fam.  If that proves to be intolerable, take a timeout and catch a series or two of the traditional Turkey Day football.
The idea here is to allow your body’s built-in signaling mechanisms the time to do their magic.  Many times you may find by waiting those extra minutes, you actually wind up feeling full and satisfied without the additional bombardment.
Go heavy on the bird.
Intelligently approaching the consumption of your macronutrients (protein, fat and carbohydrates) can also make a difference.  As we’ve touched on in past posts, each of these macronutrients has a different effect on satiation or feeling full.  Protein has the greatest effect, followed by fat, and then your carbs.
Take advantage of that turkey and ham and TRY to get the majority of your carbs from the veggies.  (SIDENOTE: despite popular opinion, corn is NOT a vegetable, but a grain.  Another topic for another post, but be aware and don’t fool yourself.)
I say TRY because I acknowledge that during these celebrations, the options are plentiful and mostly carb heavy.  Feel free to indulge; it’s the holidays.  Enjoy yourself and treat your taste buds.
Ultimately, almost all of the spread is going to be non-ideal unless you’re privied to grass-fed, free-range turkey, gluten-free stuffing, and organic vegetable dishes. The name of the game here is enjoyment with some degree of preemptive damage control.
Take a lap.
Resist the time coveted tradition of slipping into that upright food coma on the couch after dinner.  Rather than taking a nap to recharge for dessert, grab a seldom seen companion and take a lap around the hood.  Even better, help the maid…errrr MOM…clean up the mess.
Either way, this will allow you to burn some energy, making room for the excess energy you just consumed.  Couple this with adherence to the previous tips and you’ll minimize the longevity of the insulin spike and inevitable, subsequent blood sugar crash which contribute to the urge for a post meal nap as if you just ran a marathon.
I’d like to close by wishing all of you out there a Happy Thanksgiving.  I hope you all are blessed with the a sense of gratitude towards life and every aspect of it.  As with all the posts, hopefully you can utilize a tip or two, or at least begin thinking about it.
Enjoy!!!