News & Blog
Avoid Overeating On Holidays
December 28, 2021
It is the season to celebrate. It is also the season to pig out and overeat. With back to back holiday celebrations and parties everywhere. It will be hard to control our food and drink intake. On average most of us gain weight about 1 to 10 pounds during these seasons.
What happens to our Body?
One of your stomach’s big jobs is to secrete hydrochloric acid to begin the digestive process and kill bacteria as food moves through your digestive system. The more you eat, the more acid you produce. And some of it makes its way up the esophagus, resulting in heartburn. Big meals slow your digestion and food spends more time being processed. That causes the gassy, bloated feeling you often have after a big meal.
To digest the food load you’ve just consumed, it sends more blood to your gastrointestinal tract. That means less blood is available to transport oxygen and nutrients to other parts of your body, leaving you sluggish and lightheaded. Pigging out also causes your blood sugar to spike, especially if you’re consuming a lot of carbohydrates or sugar.
When blood sugar rises above normal levels, you release excess amounts of the hormone insulin and you get an energy spike. The initial boost may spurt you onto a quick kitchen cleanup, but it’s usually followed by a crash. Your body thinks you don’t need all that energy as fuel and it starts storing more of it as fat.
Add alcohol to this caloric overindulgence and you’ll probably toss and turn all night. When you wake up in the morning, you’re starving because your pancreas has been working overtime to process all that food and drink. You might also have a headache, difficulty concentrating, brain fog, or fatigue.
What you can do
Exercise. Try to keep up your normal routine as much as possible. When you head downtown or to the mall to shop, park your car away from the stores. Wear comfortable shoes and walk briskly from shop to shop. After a big meal, go for a neighborhood stroll.
Forget fasting. Many of us believe if we “conserve” calories all day, we can overindulge in the holiday meal. Trouble is, that causes your metabolism to think you’re going into starvation mode so it holds on to as many calories as possible. A better plan is a low-fat, protein-rich breakfast, a light lunch, and a moderate holiday meal.
Listen to your body. Start by taking small portions and mindfully enjoying what’s on your plate. Skip seconds and leave room for a reasonably-sized piece of pie.
Think before you drink. One beer can pack 175 calories, a glass of wine weighs in at 160, and that perennial favorite eggnog tops out at 223. Just sip lightly, slowly, and choose lower calorie drinks.
Sleep. Getting enough rest is key to overall health, wellness, and your ability to maintain a healthy weight. Slow down and breathe deep.