28 Nov How To Survive The Holiday Season Without Packing on the Pounds
The cheerful holiday season is soon upon us. To go along with all of the family time, gratitude and gifts, there will also be food. Lots and LOTS of food. Most of it not too great for you, unfortunately. At about this time, your mind is probably wondering how the pumpkin pie is going to affect your swimwear line come summer time because the average American gains 5-10 pounds over the holiday season from Thanksgiving to New Years Day. Well, not to fear. What follows is your easy to remember, and stick to, guide on how to survive the holiday eating season in roughly the same size that you started it in!
The first step to avoiding holiday weight gain is to not show up to the event starving. Having a healthy snack at home beforehand, or even on the way there, can help to slow your food consumption while at the event. As you get in line to dish up, quickly survey the dishes present. You want to focus most of your selections around meat (protein) sources and vegetable/fruit selections. These will help fill you up and keep you feeling full for a longer period of time than carbohydrates will. A good ratio to shoot for is 3/4 of the foods mentioned previously and 1/4 of “unhealthy” foods. This allows you to indulge in some more sumptuous selections but also helps to manage your waistline.
Another large component of the holiday season is drinking, whether soft drinks or drinks that contain alcohol. This is where most people likely add on the unintended calories and pounds. The reason for this unnoticed effect is how the body processes liquids when compared to solid foods. The biggest reason is that there is no bulk to these liquids when compared to food. Therefore, the stomach doesn’t send out the “I’m full” signal to the brain resulting in your ability to take in many more calories. The next thing we have going against us when consuming these beverages is the type and density of their calories. Virtually all calories in these drinks come from simple sugars (carbohydrates) which digest quickly, resulting in a blood sugar spike and crash. This cycle spurs the body to repeat the consumption of these sugars as the blood sugar flatlines in response to a perceived lack of fuel for the body. Lastly, consumption of alcohol typically lowers inhibitions and self control, increasing the likelihood that we make at least one more trip through the supper line and will probably pick out the less healthy options.
So now that we have covered how to avoid eating or drinking too much of the wrong things, we are going to cover some completely under-handed tactics to conquer the urge to over-consume during this holiday season. One great way to make sure there is at least one healthy option is to bring it yourself. A simple vegetable tray with dip is usually a crowd favorite at Mickelson family gatherings. Another option would be some multigrain crackers combined with hummus. A favorite tactic of mine is to STAY AWAY from the food! Just being close to the sights and smells of all that homemade goodness can be enough to make a full person stuff a few more mouthfuls in. That’s NOT what we want. My final piece of advice is to keep something in your hands after you have eaten a decent portion. For one thing, it’s a lot harder to dish up or eat with only one hand. Additionally, sipping on some water after eating will make the food in your stomach expand, which will hopefully dissuade you from going back for seconds.
So now you know what you can do to survive the holiday season without adding on more pounds that will require more sessions with the stair climber to take them off. Have a great Thanksgiving from us at Specific Chiropractic!