As the holidays approach, I wanted to put together some tips for all of us who overeat during the holidays because I know I am not the only one! Always being sleepy or a lack of energy from overeating around the holidays is a thing for me. This year, I put together a plan that I will try my best to follow and wanted to share it with all of you mamas who might need it.
Tips for the overeaters around the holidays
First off, keep in mind that certain foods increase our blood sugar, which produces insulin, and create tryptophan in our brains that converts to serotonin and melatonin. “Serotonin is really that chemical in the brain that says, ‘hey, you’re sleepy, slow down, take a nap!’” (Grace Derocha, a dietitian, certified diabetes educator, and health coach with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan).These foods include mashed potatoes, stuffing, macaroni and cheese, and sweet potato casserole. This means we can A) take an extra nap as needed or B) Eat less of the foods that make us feel tired.
Maintain the protein-to-carb ratio 2 to 1. This means that you should consume a serving of turkey/meat with a serving of each of your high-carb side dish favorites, like pasta and potatoes (up to half a cup, about half the size of a fist). This ratio gives you a better chance at feeling more alert and not so tired.
You should also try to stay as active as possible. Get active before or after a meal: go for a walk, play with your children or take the dog for a walk. Try your best to stay on your feet. You can also try to clean or organize the house. This will keep you busy and prevent you from zoning out and falling asleep.
Fill up on vegetables and soup. Derocha explains that the more liquid and fiber you eat, the fuller you will feel, helping you not to overeat. This will help you feel fuller before you dive into the main dishes and desserts. Limit your dairy. Eating dairy is like a baby drinking a bottle of milk before falling asleep. So, make sure you go easy on the mac and cheese or ice cream.
Remember to eat slowly and savor your food! Enjoy your holidays!