Healthy Good Carb Lifestyle Blogging
5 Ways to Survive the Holiday Season Food Marathon
By: Nadja Piatka, CEO
On: November 25, 2019
Tis the season to indulge. FOOD glorious food, it’s everywhere. Do you just loosen your belt and give in to all the temptations? After all it is a time for friends, family and a lot of feasting.
According to the Calorie Control Council, the average American consumes 4,500 calories and 230 grams of fat on Thanksgiving Day.
Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year’s. There are at least five opportunities to overindulge in just two months. The holidays are centered on heaps of deliciously tempting dishes—not to mention the hours of drinking and snacking before the big meal.
However, you can survive the season’s food marathon and avoid the dreaded January diet to try and lose those extra holiday pounds.
1. Don’t starve all day before the big meal.
Bad idea to avoid eating all day and “save up calories” for drinking and eating later. Worse of all, when you get to the holiday event don’t start with a drink with sugary mixers. Choose to sip a drink neat (on the rocks) or mixed with soda water. Most cocktails contain simple carbohydrates, which cause a spike in blood sugar, the “crash” after leads to a ravenous appetite (and high likelihood to over-eat). Therefore, it is wiser to eat food as normal throughout the day and plan to have less to drink.
2. Indulge a little.
Enjoy the meal and avoid “fat talk”. Saying you will regret this in the morning, or you shouldn’t be eating this only takes away from what should be an enjoyable experience. Deprivation of favorite holiday-only treats can lead to an unplanned binge, especially when stress levels are elevated. Treat yourself a bit during the festive season, always following the rule of moderation. Indulge for a night, not a season. It’s a holiDAY. One day won't make or break your health plan. Unfortunately, many people start a pattern of daily 'treats' in some form or another or skip exercise due to visiting relatives. Don't let it go from a day of indulgence to a month of indulgence that leads to unwanted habits that continue beyond the holiday season.
3. Mindful eating.
Be in the moment. Take in and appreciate the beautiful display of food. Slow down and savor each bite. No need to overfill your plate with so many goodies and eat like it is a contest. Slow down, and remember it is not a race. Eating too fast is a major reason why people overeat. It can take 15 to 20 minutes for your brain to send the signal to your stomach that you’re full and you need to stop eating. And if you are not careful, during that time period you can cram an awful lot of food into your stomach.
4. Choose wisely.
Decide what your favorite holiday foods are and enjoy them and avoid seconds. For dessert, indulge in pumpkin pie (300 calories) instead of pecan pie (650 calories) For appetizers choose shrimp cocktail and a handful of nuts to help curb your appetite. Dip wisely. Cheese and cream-based dips abound during the holiday season, but instead of indulging with something that uses cream cheese, for example, choose hummus which has fewer calories and better fat than a cream cheese dip.
Social events and other obligations tend to abound during the holidays, and time spent driving, flying, standing in line, socializing and partying is time that you can’t exercise. To make matters worse, as stress from a busy schedule builds, your propensity to fall victim to cravings for calorie-dense foods increases. Walk and whenever you can, try to avoid sitting for prolonged periods of time, such as when watching football games or eating. Walk around the office or home whenever you are on the phone. Those calls from relatives and friends from afar during the holidays can be best spent moving when you are on the call. Remember, too much sitting is hazardous to your health. Research shows that getting up for just five minutes every 30 to 60 minutes and performing light activity reduces the risk of diabetes and other heart disease risk factors."
Remember, it is the most wonderful time of the year to be enjoyed by all!
Happy healthy holidays!