So you ate a lot for Thanksgiving? Join the club. So now what?
A common reaction from a few days of eating in excess is to balance the body by skipping meals and greatly restricting calories. Think that is the best way to get your body re-balanced?
Let me tell you what happens to the body after a high dose of alcohol and comfort foods.
The bodily signals that are responsible for storing calories as fat are in overdrive. This results in a person having too much fat while also lacking the calories needed for basic activities. The hormones that regulate feelings of hunger and fullness are thrown out of whack as well. In the future, you will be more likely to feel hunger even when you don’t have a real need for food.
So the real damage isn’t the extra calories you consumed on that day, but how it sets you up to eat horribly throughout the holiday season. Do you know the worst thing you could do to accelerate this process? Starve yourself. Food deprivation supports a miscommunication in your body that causes you to physically crave extra calories and store excess fat.
So what is my number one recommendation to help recoup from a Thanksgiving indulgence?
Eating is instrumental to bringing the body back in balance. Though choosing the right foods is key. Don’t worry about calories for right now. Worry about eating the right type of food. What should you be consuming in the days after Thanksgiving weekend?
2. Lightly steamed or raw vegetables. Think leafy greens like kale or spinach, cruciferous veggies like broccoli and cauliflower and root veggies like radishes and beets. Most veggies are good but stay away from starchy carbs like potato.
3. Good quality fats. Fat is not your enemy, but the wrong types of fats can be. Stay away from hydrogenated fats, fried foods and poor quality saturated fats. Some good options are avocado, coconut oil and almonds.
4. Low-glycemic carbs like lentils and quinoa. Low-glycemic means that these carbohydrates create a slower, steadier supply of sugar to the bloodstream. These are the types of carbohydrates you want consume to support proper weight.
5. Fruit for dessert! Wanting food that tastes sweet is natural, but for now fruit is the best sweet choice.
Additional tips to get back on track in a hurry
Avoid added sugar (make sure to read labels to look for hidden sugar) and refined carbohydrates like pasta and bread. These foods will support the imbalance already created from the weekend of indulgence.
Eating simple foods from the four categories listed above will nourish the body and support bringing the body back into balance. It will reduce sugar cravings and prevent you from feeling like you need to binge at the holiday party. Make sure to eat at least three meals a day and this definitely means breakfast (and no, a Starbucks latte can’t count as breakfast!)
It can be a wonderful and healthy holiday season. Happy Holidays!