Thanksgiving will start the seasonal gluttony marathon (1). Even the healthiest person won’t escape from the traditional buttery mashed potatoes, creamy gravy and the sweet pecan pie. Of course this is just to name some of the delicious things you’ll eat in Thanksgiving… Remember last year when you had to unbutton your tight pant because you had too much of that maple candied sweet potatoes that aunty Suzy served you 3 times.
Sophie: Thank you Alexia for your time today. You have more than 10 years of experience working with athletes and also in health management. I personally love the holiday season, but I am not always reasonable when we talk about good meals. Indigestion and stomach pain are frequent, can you give some advice to our followers on how to manage or avoid this?
Alexia: Managing your health at this time of the year is always stressful; After all, being healthy should be a year long dedication. The concentration in November/December could be a challenge, but it is not Thanksgiving dinner that will turn the tide and make you gain weight. Celebrations are all year long: Holidays, birthdays…
Here are my recommendations. It is time to start now!
- Eat light, especially for dinner: Dinner should be only made of vegetables and non fat proteins (white meat, fish). Having all you need to eat is essential: weight is gained easily when you fast. Eat normal portions, don’t be ashamed to not finish your plate if you have enough and try not to “help yourself”.
Sophie: I usually eat a light dinner with a vegetable soup, a piece of cheese and bread.
Alexia: Actually it is not the best choice. You should cut on dairy, sugar and carbs after 5pm.
- It is important to be hydrated (even more than normal during heavy meals) at least 42.3 fl oz per day.
Important: Soda, tea, coffee or herbal tea are not considered water.
To help digestion, don’t drink too much during the meal, as liquid will slow down the process. Wait at least 1 hour before drinking herbal tea (preferably mint, ginger or licorice).
- Try not to go to bed until at least 3 hours after dinner.
- Certain foods increase the risk of bilious attack, like alcohol, spices, dairy, soda, white wine, sugar…try to stay away from them.
However, others are the opposite, like steamed veggies, potato, banana, avocado, pumpkin, almonds, pear…
Citrus (preferably organic) will help your liver produce bile acid and it will result of the elimination of fat burning and detox your body. You can drink the juice in the morning with a little bit of room temperature water.
- If you feel blown up, avoid dried beans and food who will ferment in your bowel, like cabbage. Choose fiber instead or ginger (row or as a tea).
- Try to have a correct sleep cycle. The body is having more trouble adjusting when it is tired.
- Walk as much as possible for at least 1 hour, or 10,000 steps for the most courageous.
- Enjoy and appreciate alcohol but do not abuse. I know you will probably have good excuse like “red wine is good for the heart”. It is probably true, but te whole bottle is not! You are not saved by calories drinking champagne and wine, even if the bottle is vintage. So pick well, you want the calories to be worth it and be reasonable.
Sophie: Thank you Alexia for your guidance.
(1) Calorie Control Council – The average American consumes about 4500 calories and 229 grams of fat on Thanksgiving day. The equivalent of twice what you should eat per day, plus a whole stick of butter in your stomach. “It’s like a tsunami of fat coming into the body,” said Dr. Pamela Peeke, assistant clinical professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.