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Holiday Heft Help from Carlon Colker, MD

Carlon Colker, MDHoliday food season is upon us, and the nightmare of the heft it leaves behind looms. But there are some key things that you can do to minimize the caloric damage and avoid a post-holiday horror.

The first step involves scheduling those big meals and festivities a little earlier in the day. Earlier scheduling usually isn’t a problem, because people generally have the day off and don’t mind starting the celebrations a bit earlier, especially if kids are a part of it. Use this to your advantage and schedule big sit-down meals as early as possible and help avoid the post-caloric crash of inactivity that we see so often in late meals. The fact is that the earlier the meal, the more likely you are to be more physically active entertaining your guests, chasing the kids around, cleaning up, or whatever the case may be. And with more waking hours after the big meal, the greater chance you have of burning off those calories and not storing them as fat.

The second great thing you can do is to avoid over-eating by eating a healthy, sensible meal before the big bash. While it’s understood you want to have fun and partake in the caloric festivities, the worst thing you can do for your body and health is to go into such a potentially damaging meal famished. In order to avoid this, simply eat a small but healthy meal of something plain, fairly simple and wholesome, prior to the massive festivity. This will leave you with enough of an appetite to partake and enjoy the party, while at the same time protecting you from a psychotic food-gulping frenzy.

A third tip I can give you to avoid the holiday heft is to drink large amounts of water throughout the day, but especially just prior to and during meals. Water is not only incredibly healthy, but also provides the body with a sensation of fullness, particularly when combined with small amounts of food. Water helps fill the expanse of the gut, thus tricking the body into a feeling of greater satiation. This advantage can be seized upon to curb the desire to over-eat, which afflicts so many of us during the holidays.

Use these tips and my many other healthy eating suggestions to escape the holiday calorie barrage relatively unscathed, so you can get back on track with that movie-star body!


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