Get Back on Track After Thanksgiving Indulgence
Thanksgiving is just a couple of days away, and most of us will eat way too much. The average Thanksgiving dinner, not counting appetizers, dessert and drinks, comes in at about 3,000 calories.
Don’t panic. It turns out that one epic day of holiday feasting and drinking might not be all that bad. After all, one day — even if it’s jam-packed with sugar, salt and trans fats — won’t make or break your healthy eating efforts over the long-term, according to nutritionist Vandana Sheth, R.D.N., C.D.E, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
However, what you choose to do immediately after your binge can either get you back on track — or cause your little slip-up to snowball into an entire season of overindulging.
There are some things you can do to get back to feeling good again as soon as the next day, according to K. Aleisha Fetters, M.S., C.S.C.S., a health and fitness writer and certified strength and conditioning specialist with the National Strength and Conditioning Association.
Here’s a game plan to get you back on track.
Even though you may feel like simply watching football or napping, it’s best to button our pants back up, put on your sneakers and go for a walk. Research from George Washington University shows that walking for just 15 minutes after food-fests can help prevent your blood sugar from spiking and then dropping, which causes fatigue, cravings and more overeating.
Before bed, make sure you’ve had plenty of water to drink (especially if you’ve knocked back any alcoholic beverages through the day) to prevent dehydration, bloating and generally gross feelings, according to Mike Fenster, M.D., author of The Fallacy of the Calorie. A cup of decaf ginger tea can also be great before bed for both hydrating and soothing upset stomachs, according to Fenster. If heartburn is a problem, or you’re still feeling stuffed when you turn in for the night, try propping your head up on a pillow. It’ll help reduce the likelihood that you’ll wake up in the morning breathing fire.
Try to get seven to nine solid hours of sleep. You’ll feel worse if you don’t get enough sleep, according to Fenster. Lack of sleep sets you up to crave high-energy, low-nutrient foods. One Mayo Clinic study showed that participants ate an extra 550 calories throughout the day after missing out on just 80 minutes of sleep. When you do get up, eat a balanced breakfast of protein, whole carbs and healthy fats. If your stomach is not up to par, you can fit all of those nutrients into a healthy, hydrating smoothie. But take it easy on the sugar.
Eat a healthy lunch filled with lean protein, vegetables and complex carbohydrates to help keep you feeling full, satisfied and primed with energy, according to Alexandra Sowa, M.D., a clinical instructor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City.
You shouldn’t try to cut calories in an effort to “offset” yesterday’s caloric splurges. The goal is to get you back to sustainable healthy eating, not a diet that’s going to make you feel deprived and undernourish your body. If you feel up to it, squeezing in a workout will help you feel more like your normal self, according to Sowa.
Remember the water bottle. You’re probably still in need of extra fluid replacement, according to Fenster.
Finish dinner — again, with plenty of lean protein, antioxidant-packed veggies and complex carbs — earlier as opposed to later.
Research from Northwestern University suggests that calories consumed late at night are more likely to be stored as fat compared to calories eaten earlier in the evening.
You’re getting ready for Thanksgiving; Christmas is just a few short weeks away. This is no time to be laid low with a cold or flu. The November issue of ALTRUM News reminds you of several things you can do to stay well in the weeks ahead, and delivers details about the nutrients you need every day to support your overall good health all year.
ALTRUM Supplements That May Help in Cold, Flu Season
Eating a healthy diet is the best way to keep your body strong and healthy. But sometimes it’s hard to get all of the vitamins and minerals you need in a day to stay healthy, especially during the cold and flu season.
ALTRUM brings you a variety of nutritional supplements to help you strengthen and support your immune system throughout the year.
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