We are getting close to Thanksgiving--the time of year when many people under-prepare and overindulge. What do I mean by under-prepare? Well, when faced with days of holiday enticements (candy, potato casseroles, pecan, pumpkin and apple pies, holiday wine) many people feel overwhelmed and lost without a game plan. You do NOT have to be one of these people! By identifying some of the holiday eating triggers, we can be prepared to handle the stress and manage to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday without gaining weight.
Beware of Holiday Eating Triggers!
In order to prepare for what's ahead, it's helpful to consider what might trigger you to overeat during the holiday. According to health researchers, several factors can contribute to holiday weight gain:
Stress: We love our family, but let's admit that sometimes close quarters or an extended family meal together with our close relatives can make us a little stressed. Add to that the pressure of kids on vacation and change in schedules, and you've got what's called, “Food drivers." In other words, you tend to turn to lots of food to feel better. In addition, this kind of anxiety may cause your body to increase its production of cortisol, a stress hormone which can cause weight gain regardless of the amount of food you are consuming. I find meditation to be helpful or finding a few moments alone to de-stress. Exercise, such as a brisk walk, can help clear and relax the mind. Research also shows that exercise produces endorphins, the “feel good” hormones which help alleviate stress and anxiety.
Travel and Sleep Deprivation: Whether vacationing or visiting relatives, traveling disrupts our everyday schedule and can be exhausting. We tend to dine out more and exercise less. In addition, we may not sleep as well in a bed away from home. Research shows that appetite increases by as much as 25% when we are tired. Plus, when exhausted, we turn to coffee and sugar for quick pick-me-ups! So, it's important to get plenty of sleep during the holiday and to find some time for a little exercise. Exercise is proven to help alleviate insomnia.
Dehydration: During the holiday, many of us enjoy an extra glass or two of wine and indulge in an extra cappuccino, which can dehydrate the body. Aim for half your body weight in ounces to stay hydrated. Keeping your water intake up during the holiday will help keep you feeling full longer, and you will be less inclined to overeat!
Remember, Folks, food (NOT just what’s on a plate) determines how we feel and heal!
Source: Crave Marketing/Nutrition LLC