Nav­i­gate the hol­i­day on­slaught of food

Canadian Cycling Magazine - - CONTENTS - By Matthew Kadey

As the fes­tive sea­son, and the sea­son of in­dul­gences, revs up, your healthy diet can get un­sad­dled when you’re faced with a dizzy­ing ar­ray of fatty meats, calo­rie-bomb dips and tempt­ing sweets. Eat­ing ev­ery­thing in sight at hol­i­day par­ties can be bad news for your rid­ing weight. A study in The new eng­land jour­nal of Medicine de­ter­mined that many peo­ple don’t shed all of their hol­i­day weight gain once it’s packed on. So you don’t emerge from the hol­i­day sea­son feel­ing like a stuffed tur­key, here are some point­ers on how to bunny hop a fes­tiv­ity-in­duced food coma.

Ride, then party Con­sider tak­ing a spir­ited spin be­fore you hit the town. Mounds of stuff­ing and gen­er­ous wedges of pump­kin pie are less likely to make an ap­pear­ance on your waist­line if con­sumed shortly af­ter a sweat fest since more of the calo­ries will be used for re­cov­ery pur­poses.

Plan ahead To make it less likely that you’ll eat ev­ery­thing in sight at get-to­geth­ers, never ar­rive to a party fam­ished and ready to tackle the hors d’oeu­vre table. Fill up some of your tank with satiating high-pro­tein and high-fi­bre foods, such as Greek yo­gurt and salad be­fore you head out the door. Then, the spread of jalapeno pop­pers will seem less tempt­ing.

Get in the kitchen If you have a never-end­ing run of fam­ily meals and par­ties on your sched­ule, be sure to pull on that apron and make some of your own health­ier eats that you can bring along. These events are less likely to tor­pedo your diet if you have some

bet­ter-for-you apps, side dishes and desserts to feast on and share with a hun­gry crowd.

Don’t be a show-off Ac­cord­ing to re­search from Cor­nell Univer­sity, males are prone to stuff­ing them­selves silly in so­cial set­tings such as hol­i­day gath­er­ings. It’s the machismo of out-eat­ing oth­ers. But the im­pli­ca­tions are ob­vi­ous: dou­bling down on mince­meat pie can lead to a bal­loon­ing out­come. In­stead of be­ing proud of eat­ing manly amounts of food, eat just un­til you start to feel full. Then maybe you could men­tion your koms.

Sleep tight Fran­tic hol­i­day sched­ules can eas­ily cut into your shut­eye, which can leave you feel­ing heav­ier on the trainer. A 2017 Bri­tish study showed that adults who re­ported poor sleep pat­terns, such as sleep­ing less than six hours a night, were more likely to gain un­wanted pounds. Other stud­ies have sug­gested that short­ened sleep can leave you more prone to mak­ing poor di­etary choices, such as gorg­ing on the Christ­mas cook­ies float­ing around the of­fice. Do your best to catch plenty of z’s even when faced with mount­ing fam­ily com­mit­ments and hol­i­day shop­ping lists.

Eat your calo­ries One of the best ways to cut back on empty calo­ries is to sip on fewer sea­sonal drinks. The calo­ries from al­co­holic drink mixes, hot choco­late, eg­gnog and ap­ple cider can re­ally add up. Be­cause the body does not reg­is­ter the calo­ries it gleans from liq­uids the same way it does from solid food, you are less likely to feel as full when you take in 400 calo­ries from a glass­ful of eg­gnog than from the same num­ber of tur­key and gravy calo­ries.

Stop chat­ting and chew­ing It’s all too easy to fall into deep con­ver­sa­tion at soirees with a plate of calo­rie-laden food in hand. You get dis­tracted. Be­fore you know it, you’ve pol­ished ev­ery­thing off without feel­ing no­tice­ably full. Stud­ies show that eat­ing while dis­tracted can leave you less sus­cep­ti­ble to sati­ety sig­nals and prone to prac­tis­ing poor por­tion con­trol. Try this: when eat­ing with a crowd, put down your fork or spoon af­ter each bite so you can dis­tin­guish be­tween talk time and chew time.

Have some candied yams with that Ad­ding a small por­tion of a splurge item to an other­wise plate­ful of nu­tri­tious food can trick your brain into think­ing the healthy dish is just as deca­dent as a smor­gas­bord of un­healthy food. A study from Ten­nessee’s Van­der­bilt Univer­sity shows that a phe­nom­e­non called the “vice-virtue bun­dle” works: a good taste brings about sat­is­fac­tion, but so does know­ing you made wise choices over­all. So plac­ing a small slice of cheese­cake on a plate dom­i­nated by lean meats and veg­gies could re­sult in a dou­ble help­ing of ful­fil­ment and keep your off-sea­son diet on track.

Step on the scale When hol­i­day feasts abound, it might be a good idea to keep a scale handy. A study in the Jour­nal of the academy of nu­tri­tion and di­etet­ics found that weigh­ing your­self daily can lead to a greater adop­tion of weight con­trol be­hav­iours and less weight gain. Hop­ping on the scale can help you see if all of those mint choco­lates are start­ing to show up.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.