The holiday eating spread at the dinner table is one of the most enjoyable moments of the holiday season. Anything made by Grandma will be consumed in massive quantities, especially when she says she made it just for you and she knows how much you enjoy it. Let’s be clear though; just because you can consume over 2000 calories in one meal doesn’t mean you should.
There’s nothing wrong with indulging in the holiday eating feast. But as we all move through the holiday season, that one day indulgence tends to get strung out over many days, becoming a habit. Here are some quick tips to make sure that you can enjoy, and not overdo it at the same time.
Be mindful of Calorie Density
Some foods are more calorie dense than other foods. Meats, nuts, and foods high in fat have more calories in less volume than compared to something like carrots, broccoli, or spinach. What this means is that if you eat foods that are LESS calorie dense you will feel full faster and not have taken in so many calories. Also, it has an added side effect of taking foods that are better for you than those high in fats. Vegetables are great sources of vitamins, anti-oxidants, and fiber.
I’m all in favor of a good comfort food, especially as the months get colder, but I also know that comfort food doesn’t need to be every day. Fried foods, anything smothered and covered in cheese, and a hot casserole all have their place, but not every meal.
Drink water first
Hydration is already a key part of healthy nutrition. In the case of entering colder months it becomes even more necessary. The dryness of the air will take moisture out of your body and leave you dehydrated without even sweating. Hydration also helps in digestion, and drinking a glass of water before your meal takes up room in your stomach and can help you feel satiated faster.
Think about your normal liquid intake over the course of a holiday. Does it include more than a couple glasses of wine? Alcohol dehydrates the body, which is one of the leading causes of a hangover. Avoid the unnecessary headache and fight off the “hangries” with some simple H2O.
Avoid the late night pie
We’ve all been there. It’s late at night. Everyone is ready to call it a night and go to bed. And then your eyes catch that last piece of pumpkin pie sitting on the counter. It looks so good over there, but lonely. That piece of pie is so lonely the only way that rightness could be brought to the universe is by having that slice of pie join the other two in your belly and then heading off to bed.
Eating just before going to bed is bad enough, but even more so with sweet desserts. When you go to bed for the night your body starts to go into hibernation mode. That food you just took in will get converted to fats because your body is getting ready to fast during your sleep cycle, and it’s worse when that food intake is sugary pie or cake.
This holiday season think about what you are taking in and what that means for your overall health. For more tips and topics related to Health and Wellness with a unique HIV focus, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.