Want to Avoid Overeating this Holiday Season?

By Boston Chauffeur

One of the best things about the holidays is the food, glorious food, we get to eat. Not even Oliver would be
denied if he dared ask for seconds. But with so much turkey, ham, high-starch, high-calorie side dishes like
mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing and traditional desserts like pumpkin pie in front of us, it is too
easy to overindulge ourselves.

Fortunately, there are ways that we can enjoy our holiday feasts and our roast beast without gaining too
much weight that we would struggle to work off during the cold winter months.

The Chief of Gastroenterology at Penn Medicine Princeton Health, Dr. Anish Sheth, explains on the Rachel
Ray Show blog that when our stomachs are empty, they are about the size of a closed fist. When we eat a
normal-sized meal, we fill our stomachs with about one liter of food and liquid. A holiday meal, on the other
hand, contains usually about three liters of food and liquid.

“You can imagine how this can press on organs and surrounding structures in the body [and] make us feel
uncomfortable,” Dr. Sheth tells Yahoo.com.

“It’s why we feel tired, and it actually puts a lot of stress on our body,” he continues. “Organs have to work overtime — the liver, the pancreas, even the heart has to work overtime for many hours just to process this.”

Here are five ways that we can level the playing at Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s:

  • Use a contrasting color plate to the food you’re eating. Research shows we will actually eat less food.
  • Eat more slowly. Put your fork down between bites and enjoy conversation to give your stomach time to tell you it’s full.  It generally takes about 20 minutes for our brain to recognize when our stomach is full.
  • Drink water before the meal and before every course.
  • Have a high-fiber salad before the main course. They will make you feel full so you will actually eat less.
  • Avoid elastic waistbands! Your everyday clothes can help you manage how much you’re eating.

If you do overeat, don’t beat yourself up. After all, it is hard for anybody to say no to such a sumptuous feast. Dr. Shesh tells Yahoo.com there are five things you can do to mitigate the damage:

  • Take a 15- to 20-minute walk.
  • Drink peppermint tea because it relaxes the GI tract and eliminates gas which makes us feel les bloated.
  • If you eat too much salt, eat foods high in potassium — like avocado, banana or spinach — later in the day or the next day.
  • If you are concerned about eating too much fast, Dr. Shesh recommends hot water, a little bit of honey and two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to help digest the fat.
  • Eat some celery and hummus, pistachios and eggs to counteract too much sugar, according to Dr. Shesh.
  • Doing some yoga where you go with seated positions can also help your body digest your food better, Dr. Shesh believes.

We hope this will help you feel more comfortable after your holiday meals. And we wish you a safe and happy holiday season.


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