There are zillions of articles at this time of year about food and eating, so here is my advice as a doctor and also as a “midlife” woman trying to keep a semblance of a waistline during this most junk-food, or comfort food, or just FOOD, filled time of year.
Here are just a few pointers:
1. DON’T wear an elastic waistband to a big meal: A completely stretchable waistband removes your ability to feel when you are getting full.
2. DO fill your plate up ONCE and eat slowly from it: At a buffet food event (even at a sit-down dinner), repeated visits to the buffet are the best way to completely lose track of how much you have eaten.
3. DON’T let yourself get too hungry: especially don’t arrive starving to a feast!
4. DO eat a good, filling, healthy breakfast: this will lower the chances of over-stuffing at a holiday meal or of having runaway cravings.
5. DON’T eat entire servings of dessert, when a taste of it will satisfy that urge.
6. DO eat healthy snack between meals if you need to so you don’t end up super hungry (see #3 above).
7. DON’T drink your calories: Alcohol and eggnog and other sweet drinks are just calories your body doesn’t really benefit from, so do your best here.
8. DO enjoy and savor your food! Eating slowly allows what you eat to travel down your intestines in a way that signals your brain that you have eaten enough, so people who eat slowly eat less overall.
9. DON’T give up too much sleep: partying and Black Friday aside, try to keep somewhat decent “sleep hygiene” over the holidays, and use some of that time off to do some relaxing!
10. DO move your body, outside in nature if possible: take a page out of REI’s playbook this year – they are CLOSED on Black Friday and recommending that people go outside instead!
And last but not least, I hope you DO have a Happy Thanksgiving and a wonderful Holiday Season!