Welcome to another edition of the Doctor’s Note where we talk about what’s on our minds when it comes to your health.
It’s a couple of days before Thanksgiving which means we need a game plan for eating over the holidays! Why? Because the average American gains between 3-8 pounds from Thanksgiving to New Years (depending on which study you look at) and those pounds usually don’t come off. They keep adding on and before long you are overweight.
In this Note, we are going to lay out a nutritional game plan for the holiday season that hopefully will solve this problem.
What To Do This Thanksgiving
This is a wonderful time of the year to practice gratitude. There is certainly so much to be thankful for. But make no mistake about it, this time of year can also be the start of a series of eating problems. One single meal doesn’t have a significant impact on your weight, but it’s easy to allow a single oversized meal to turn into a series of oversized meals.
During the holiday season you’re more likely to snack and eat leftovers. Food is everywhere and you’re probably going to eat it, and maybe drink too much alcohol.
I don’t believe in willpower. I do believe in planning. There is a lot of psychology in weight loss and weight gain. There is a decreased sense of inhibition with food following a single episode of overeating. This is called counter regulatory eating, which is actually most prevalent among strict dieters. Those are the ones who suffer the most. They start to feel like restriction is pointless.
Here’s the game plan:
Beware of “trigger” foods. Most people have a “trigger” food (ex Ice cream) that is usually some form of sugar. Sugar is the most addictive substance on the planet!
Fix less food. If there is food leftover after Thanksgiving, give it away!
Don’t eat until you’re full or stuffed.
Eat just one or two bites of that desert you want. You do not have to empty your plate like we were taught as kids.
Skip breakfast. It’s not the most important meal of the day.
Don’t drink juice in the mornings.
Don’t drink milk. It doesn’t do the body good.
Take your vitamins. Taking my vitamins forces me to drink more water. If you drink a couple of glasses of water before a meal you will eat less.
Drink a lot of water.
Exercise. This isn’t a weight loss tool unfortunately, but it is a keystone habit that can lead to other healthy behaviors that do in fact help with weight loss.
Enjoy conversations. Don’t eat while having these conversations.
Never snack while watching television.
Use allulose instead of cooking with sugar. I think this is the best sugar substitute out there. It looks like sugar, tastes like sugar, and won’t raise your blood sugar. I like honey too (but not while you’re in your fasting period).
Limit alcohol. Be smart about what and how much you drink. There are plenty of low carb beers and low sugar wines. FYI: Vodka probably has the least amount of calories.
Listen to your gut. If you overeat your gut is going to be upset. Taking a probiotic (DigestShield is my favorite) is great for this.
Pick just one of these 4 types of foods for dinner (bread, booze, dinner carbs, dessert). Just pick one of these to eat along with your healthy foods like meats (especially fish) and vegetables.
Remember, it’s a myth that you’re going to lose weight in January. You have to start planning now for it. Eat less carbs, more good fats, and moderate amounts of proteins. Practice intermittent fasting.
Obesity is the number one medical problem in this country. If you think you have a problem you probably do have a problem.
Don’t let this holiday season get you out of your routine.