Adrian Ellison (pictured here on the right), the Director of Corporate Partnerships at Master Metabolic talked a bit about ways that she keeps her engine fueled during the holidays. For a peek into her world of nutrition, keep reading below!
Can we start by agreeing to not FEAR the food this holiday? For those of us trying to maintain healthy standards during Holiday Season, it is easy to find ourselves with thoughts like, “Can I have more self control this year?” or “I will start being healthy after this binge week.” Or worst of all, if you took an early plunge and have been on the latest fad diet, you are now explaining to your family members why you can't enjoy anything but sparkling water and air. These mindsets can be problematic.
Holidays like Thanksgiving and even Christmas are about embracing gratitude for the things we have, and let me tell you, we all have a mouth that wants to be fed and a metabolism that strives to burn faster. So stop with all the worries, those are so last holiday season. Here I will share my top seven tips for maintaining a healthy body and mindset during this year’s most wonderful time of the year.
1. Forget saving the calories
● Eat a well balanced breakfast within 30 minutes of waking up.
● Continue to eat well balanced meals every 3-4 hours until Thanksgiving meal is served to ensure that your metabolism is continuously turning over to produce energy and keep your lean tissue thriving.
This is the most important and probably the most confusing. For most people, the holidays consist of one giant meal followed by one giant nap (and probably football). But what are you really doing to your body by saving up all those savory calories after starving yourself prior? And yes, I do mean starving. Logic might tell you that if you are going to consume an abundant amount of calories, that it would be safe to save them all for that one meal, but metabolism will tell you just the opposite.
Without a consistent dose of macronutrients (proteins, carbs, and fats), your body will become aware that it is being depleted of nutrients and must immediately begin to store what it can. As annoying as this process can be, it truly is a defense mechanism your body provides to protect you. This happens within as little as 30 minutes after waking up. And once you go half a day without allowing your body to keep your energy and digestion moving, the calories you do consume will also be stored in an attempt to prepare for the next shortage. This rule applies for the days following the holiday as
2. Don’t waste the taste
What do I mean by waste? Imagine you are having your holiday on a deserted island. What do you absolutely emotionally need for that meal? If you are going to be enjoying an abundance of your favorite foods, don’t waste those extra calories on dishes that you just sorta kinda maybe like.
3. Stabilize your blood sugar
Even if you're not diabetic, stabilizing your blood sugar is just as important for your health. Understand that carbs are a form of sugar. If you give your body more sugar than it can process, you will have a significant spike and drop in blood sugar causing a lethargic brain fog ultimately leading to that nap. (I’m not anti-nap, just anti-bluhh.) So when filling your plate, think about every beneficial food group containing proteins, carbs, fats, and most importantly, fruit. Adding a lower glycemic fruit such as berries (sweetened cranberry sauce doesn't count), or citrus will help to stabilize blood sugar and will also eliminate future cravings.
4. No mindless snacking
Every time you want to have a bite, plate it. Mindless eating can lead to feelings of dissatisfaction and absolutely no way to measure how much has been consumed. Again, this isn't about eating less, but about taking the time to organize and enjoy the foods you want most.
5. Walk it out
Take a 15-20 minute walk around the block or backyard. Metabolism and digestion are both boosted after this simple step. Keep it slow and steady because the 5K Turkey Trot never actually includes turkey.
6. Say yes to “protein” dessert
Make sure to only eat desserts packed full of protein. Okay, this is obviously a joke. If someone in your family does Crossfit, this might actually be an option, but typically desserts consist predominantly of sugars. This does not mean you should slap yourself every time you get close to taking a bite. Instead try to space out the time between your main course and dessert. Once you do pick your favorite treat, pair it with a decent amount of protein. Try a scoop of protein powder or a few bites of whatever lean meat is being served, and again, don't forget the fruit. This combo helps to satiate your lean tissue (muscle) and help maintain your blood sugar at a somewhat stable level.
7. Knowledge is sweet as sugar
Sugar cannot defeat you if you now all his tactics. Take these into account when enjoying your favorite dessert. I find that the more you know, the better you can adapt.
3 most important downfalls of sugar:
1. Sugar is the shortest high of them all. If sugar was a drug, we would all want our money back. The release of dopamine that immediately occurs when sugar touches our tongue is gone just as fast, leaving us wanting more every bite.
2. Sugar blocks your leptin levels which is responsible for telling your body you are full. This is why you would not sit down and eat 2500 calories of rice without exploding, but can enjoy 2500 calories of cheesecake and still want more.
3. The effects sugar have mimic that of depression in the body . When dopamine occurs in massive short spurts, the side effect can neurologically negative.
Therefore, what we know about our frenemy sugar is this; after it touches your tongue, the high is gone, you don’t feel satisfied, and you can become chemically depressed. Oftentimes, this cycle repeats itself. However, if you are aware of this vicious cycle, you can choose not to fall victim to negative after effects of sugar.
I hope these tips help you conquer this holiday season and allow you to enjoy your favorite foods stress free. If you find this info valuable, feel free to share and follow me on our Nutrition and Exercise page here.