December is the season to be jolly but DO have a plan to avoid overdoing the food and drink.
There is a great eating adage – “It’s not what you eat between Christmas and New Years that determines your health – it’s what you eat between New Years and Christmas.”
This creates perspective for your long-term health but still… no one wants to feel lousy or guilty the next day.
Around the holidays is often when people feel unwell and suffer.
Here are 7 strategies to deal with all that food and drink.
1. Ask yourself “what is your intent” before going to the party. If your intent is to gorge yourself or get wasted maybe you wouldn’t be reading this anyway, but the goal is usually to connect and enjoy company with others. Keeping this priority in the back of your mind will help you make better choices.
2. Plan when you wish to leave. The host’s or group’s responsibility is to continue offering food and drink every moment you are there – even if you have said ‘no’ several times – so the sooner you leave, the sooner you are not tempted with more and more. The easiest way to for this to work is to have a quiet or healthy event already scheduled. You can announce this immediately to your host or friends when you need to leave and it is totally natural. There are lots of things going in the holidays.
3. The strategy of leaving applies perfectly to the dinner or feast table. Like the police shout to the bad guys in the movies, “Back away from the table with your hands UP!”, If you have an activity in another part of the home or party planned right after the meal then you are not sitting around for your host to offer you seconds or thirds or fourths.
Here is a novel strategy which would never occur to most men. Your strategy for leaving the table could be to help with CLEARING the table and CLEANING the dishes. Most hosts or cooks never overdo it because they’re just too busy.
4. This same strategy applies to the bar. Just don’t spend the whole evening standing near it.
5. There are going to be MANY different foods and delicacies. Choose small portions – even of your favourites like stuffing or desserts. There’s always seconds if you really want but the SLOWER you consume your food the more clearly your body will be able to tell you that it is full.
6. What WHEN you eat. Assuming you will be eating rich or sweet foods. Make sure you start with significant portions of light fibre foods like salad. Meat and deserts have NO fibre. Fibre easily fills you up, helps move the foods through you so even if it is too much it still will get processed, AND it slows down the rush of sugar into your bloodstream.
Do you feel indigestion after the big meal? It could be the COMBINATION of conflicting foods is causing indigestion. Each category of food (fruit, salad, protein, vegetables, carbs) is digested differently. For example, fruit doesn’t combine well with anything. Vegetables combine well with everything. Therefore, DON”T combine different categories with every second bite. Start with the fruit, finish it, go on to the salad, finish that, then your protein, finish that, and then vegetables. Finish off with carbs but hopefully you may not be so hungry to eat lots of potatoes, stuffing and buns. Try to leave at least an hour before dessert.
EXTRA VITAL TIP and WARNING: Maybe none of the above tips ring true for you or somehow your good intentions get lost in the party rush. No big problem… NO ONE IS GOING TO DIE! BUT, if you drink and drive, or get in a car with someone who has been drinking … someone certainly MAY die. Plan ahead to have a designated driver or use a taxi.