Staying fit and injury-free through winter holidays takes a little intention, “pre-gaming.” We’re spreading the good cheer to all our clients with suggestions for joy in the moment, avoiding extreme recoveries in the new year. On Eating . . .
- THE BIG SPREAD: Have a basic plan that limits how much you can “cheat.” Eye over the entire spread then grab a small plate. Decide and choose; do not linger. Eat slowly. Wait 15 minutes before your second plate, enough time for your brain to register the fullness and free up good decision-making capacity. Try drinking a glass of water with each plate.
- THE BINGE: It’s okay to go in for an occasional food binge. It actually has positive effects on the metabolism. But avoid consecutive binge days. If you do go in for a binge day, try choosing foods moderately, or try a 12 hour fast following it, drinking plenty of water throughout the duration.
- TIME BETWEEN EATING + MOVING: We all know the rule about waiting a half hour after eating before swimming safely. It’s a general rule. The interval between eating and moving depends on the food. Foods with a higher glycemic index (like breads, juice, potatoes) take longer to digest than those with a low index (e.g. nuts, apples, beans, avocadoes). Good nutritional timing (https://rsymister.wordpress.com/2015/12/10/rule-7-eat-for-energy-practical-goal-setting-for-athletic-performance/ ) takes understanding that certain foods are digested at different speeds. The slower the food takes to digest, the longer you wait.
- THE ROOKIE: Out-of-shape but want to join in the fun? Before you lace up for flag football with your cousins, remind yourself to take it slow. Stretch properly and make sure your muscles are warm before game time. Stretch afterwards and take care with any little injuries (sore muscles in the back or joints) before they develop into serious problems. After a few drinks, you may feel like a super-athlete, due to dulled sensation in areas of weakness. Remember that superman was usually sober and moved moderately.
- TAKE A STROLL: Try taking a walk of at least 10 minutes right after a meal. This simple action will aid with controlling blood sugar and the quantity of triglycerides in the bloodstream. It aids with digestion and decreases helps with the “Why did I eat so much?” feeling of regret after meals.
- BALANCE THE SCALES OF CALORIC INJUSTICE: Want to have a few more drinks more than usual? Fine. Just balance off each drink with a glass of water. Want to have more sweet potatoes? Fine, but fill up with salad, vegetables and other high fiber, low calorie foods.
- THE MORNING AFTER: You may have a plan to head to the gym in the morning, after a long night of drinking, to “burn off” those extra calories. Just be careful. You’ve most likely deviated from your normal diet, may be dehydrated, probably running on little rest and recovery time. Take it easy the next day. You can still work out, but watch your intensity levels.