Feast vs Famine: What You Eat is Worse than How Much

There’s always drama when it comes to holidays. We sit down at a table laden with a variety of different foods and we think if we just eat a little, we’ll be “okay.”  The truth is that while eating too much of anything is never good, the real culprit is what we eat. I was chatting with a friend recently who had just returned from a massive daylong shopping trip out of town and she was sitting down to a snack of cheese and crackers. She’d gotten a little light headed and when I ventured low blood sugar since she’d not eaten all day, she commented she’d had the venti eggnog Frappuccino so certainly plenty of sugar there! I told her what happens with a high sugar/ carb food: blood sugar spikes, insulin floods the blood stream, then usually crashes lower than before, so light headedness or shakes. I also said this is the blood sugar roller coaster we get stuck on: bagel or cereal for breakfast, crash after a couple hours, granola bar snack, crash/ hunger, sandwich & chips for lunch, mid afternoon crash, another carby snack, then dinner either with carbs or followed by a carby dessert. 

I also explained this is why we usually gain weight: our bodies don’t burn fat until we’ve cleared insulin and glucose from our blood stream and the carb roller coaster keeps us from doing either. Until we stop eating the sugars and simple carbs and eat more protein, fats and fiber, we’re going to be stuck on that roller coaster, being hungry, shaky, and unable to lose weight. 

So when we sit down to our holiday feasts this year, many of us will take a spoon of this, a taste of that and a bite of a dessert- basically avoiding the feast in favor of famine to keep from gaining weight. In fact, sticking to roasted low starch veggies, green salad, and turkey or ham(or whatever protein your family likes), you’ll probably be okay. Keep the carbs and sugar to a minimum but don’t skimp on the fat, protein and fiber. You’ll not only feel like you had a real feast, you won’t gain the weight you want to avoid! Happy Thanksgiving! 

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