Understanding carbs a little better can help you NOT fear them this Thanksgiving
There's no doubt about it, Thanksgiving is a carb-crazy holiday.
Stuffing, mashed potatoes, rolls, desserts, casseroles topped with crumbs and breading.
Even the gravy has carbs, never mind all the booze!
So if you're nervous about eating "too many" carbs, it's time to have a quick talk/review about carbs.
Carbohydrates are NOT bad.
In fact you NEED THEM, particularly if you are a female.
We don't do well when we cut out carbs.
Of the three macronutrients, carbs and fats tend to be the most controversial and right now carbs are still considered by so many to be "bad".
But fat, carbs AND protein all play important, but different, roles in our diets.
One of the primary reasons that carbohydrates are so problematic is that in the U.S., MOST of the carbs that we eat are either simple sugars (sweeteners hidden in like...everything) and dry starches (your bread, pasta, bagels, cookies, chips).
Because of our biology and because these foods are NOT foods that we've evolved with for centuries, AND because NEVER before in human history have these foods been so abundant and inexpensive, consuming dry starches and simple sugars mostly leads to consuming more calories than our bodies require.
The more starches and sugars you eat, the more you will crave, the more you will most likely eat.
That's just a fact.
Fruit, vegetables and complex carbs (carbs with more water, fiber and complex chemical structures) will cause far fewer, maybe no cravings. They also fill you up more AND won't cause the same degree of blood sugar spikes as a dry starch (thank you fiber and water!).
Ok, so now that we've reviewed carbs, let's talk about how to navigate Thanksgiving eating and food feelings.
If you eat a ton of dry starches this Thursday, no that you are probably going to experience energy spikes and crashes.
You're also experience cravings on Thursday, and certainly the next day, cravings for more carbs, particularly dry starches and sugar.
The best thing to do on Friday to combat this (and we will talk about this again on Friday) is to drink water, eat lots of veggies and lean protein (more turkey!) and get in a nice long leisure walk or strength session.
NOT TO MAKE UP FOR WHAT YOU ATE ON THURSDAY!!!
This is purely just to get your metabolism back on track and cut cravings so that you don't spend the weekend fighting or giving in to biologically-driven cravings.
If you want to control your cravings with Thursday strategies, I'll tell my strategy for doing just that.
1. Eat lots of protein.
2. Eat green and or fiber-rich veggies early in the meal (green beans, salads, squash).
3. Then eat a roll and those more starchy and carb-rich foods, your stuffing, mashed, whatever (totally acceptable to put these on your plate in the beginning so that you don't have to keep going back or risk missing out on the foods, I just eat them last).
4. Drink water-Thanksgiving foods are often salty which makes us want to drink more, if all you have around is soda or wine, then that's what you will drink even though neither is hydrating you. So drink water whenever you eat!
5. Stop at 80% fullness because, A. it takes 20 minutes for our brains to register how full we actually are and B. Dessert!
Whatever you choose to do this year and however you choose to eat, just remember, if this holiday or the days after the holiday tend to stress you out, this year start practicing strategies that make you feel good both on Thursday, but also on Friday and Saturday.
You won't know EXACTLY what works for you, but you will have a little more information and some tactics for tackling Christmas.
When in doubt, just go slowly, thoroughly chew your food, only choose the foods that deserve a spot on your plate (foods you love and foods that make you feel good too) and remember you're not bad for eating however you eat tomorrow, it's just food.
PLEASE CHECK BACK WITH ME ON FRIDAY AND LET ME KNOW HOW IT GOES AND WHAT STRATEGIES WERE MOST HELPFUL FOR YOU!
Tomorrow (Thanksgiving) I will be talking about how to deal with the food pushers and criticizers and Friday we will talk about the aftermath of Thursday and what to do with it EXCLUSIVELY with my Inner Circle Newsletter.
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