What does your social calendar look like this holiday season?
Over the next three weeks, is your social calendar packed full of dinners, cocktail parties and office socials?
It is consistently (yet not completely accurately) reported that the average American gains 5 to 10 pounds during the holiday season. Well, this number is slightly exaggerated, as the average American gains only a few pounds. However, the damage to your blood sugar is much greater and, honestly, much more important when it comes to your health.
The problem is that we tend to eat and drink more carbohydrates and fats in the forms of desserts and alcohol this time of year, which increases fasting blood sugar and results in the hormone insulin working overtime.
When insulin is lower, it’s easier to lose belly fat, have more energy and have fewer food cravings, so you don’t want a surge of insulin day after day for long periods of time.
The key to success and keeping your blood sugar on track this holiday season is to stop grazing. Yes, this means stop eating between meals. The average person needs three meals per day, and it’s the “extras” we start adding – especially around holiday time – between these meals that really tends to drive our blood sugar up, which increases inflammation and makes it easier to pack on the dreaded few extra pounds.
It’s also important to have your mealtime be a relaxing time to sit down, enjoy, and bring mindfulness to the food you are eating.
At meal-time, taking time to salivate (before your first bite of food) and chew much more than you may think necessary creates a happy digestive experience. It also has the bonus of increasing your nutrient absorption, which brings about abundant well-being.
Lastly, never “save” your calories for the big social dinner later in the day. Eat your regular meals leading up to the social. This allows you to be satisfied with less of the high-fat, high-carbohydrate and sugar-loaded party foods.
Fran Sutherlin is a local registered dietitian, health coach, speaker and owner of Sustainable Nutrition in Bayfield. She can be reached at 444-2122 or firstname.lastname@example.org.