Looking forward to the elaborate holiday feasts but dreading your blood sugar swings, exhaustion and weight gain? At Medco ER & Urgent Care in Plano, TX, our board-certified physicians have put together 8 tips to help you make the best choices for a home run healthy, happy holiday season.
“The holidays are fraught with tension, extra work and poor eating choices,” said Medco ER & Urgent Care’s Medical Director, Dr. Nasir Khan. “But with a bit of planning, you can reduce your stress and feel better as you spend time with loved ones.”
Avoid feast or famine
It’s easy to skip a meal or two in advance to get ready for a big holiday feast, and then pile it on once you get to the table. This is a sure way to make your blood sugar swing wildly. Instead, eat a small snack before going to the party and watch your portions once you get there.
Make it count
While you don’t have to rigidly count calories at your family gatherings, it is advisable to be judicial in choosing where you are willing to spend the most calories. Choose your favorite foods and take smaller portions of them.1
Drink more not less
Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. But go easy on the rest of the drinks. Remember that egg nog, punch, soda and alcoholic drinks can pack a whopping amount of calories where a fruited water spritzer has none. Also, alcohol makes you hungrier and reduces your ability to make healthy choices.1
Say goodbye to stress
Knowing that stress levels will be high during the holidays, you can make a plan now for ways to reduce it. Simplify your expectations to center on the most important people and traditions. Plan breaks for yourself.2 Choose shortcuts for the month, such as preparing freezer-ready meals in advance. Get plenty of rest. Eat well and exercise.
Slower is better
Remembering that it takes up to 20 minutes for your brain to get the signal that your stomach is full, take longer between courses and go slow on second helpings. A side benefit is less heartburn from not overeating.
Green is good
If you are a snacker, make sure there are plenty of fresh vegetables to grab. Avoid standing next to the snack table where it is tempting to grab more chips. Make sure you put plenty of veggies on your plate during the feast, too.3
Sneak in the substitutions
Don’t be afraid to look for healthier options for traditional foods. No one will mind that there is Monkfruit sweetener in the pies, chicken broth with only a bit of butter in the stuffing, hummus for raw veggies or yogurt dip for the fruit tray. Healthy choices like fanciful pear-pomegranate-pistachio salads with raspberry vinaigrettes can joyfully replace traditional butter-swamped or mushroom soup-covered hot vegetables.
Avoid the allergens
If you suffer from food allergies or are sensitive to things like gluten or monosodium glutamate (MSG), keep that in mind before diving into the dips, cookies and other scrumptious-looking treats. Russian tea cakes have ground up nuts and flavored chips and dips often have MSG.
Medco ER & Urgent Care is here when you need us
Since medical concerns don’t care if it’s the holidays or if it’s the middle of the night, Medco ER & Urgent Care is open all day and night, every day of the year, to provide you with the quality healthcare you need. If you or your loved ones aren’t feeling well, come in right away for an expert evaluation and treatment plan.
- Plano location:
3960 Legacy Drive, Plano TX 75023 (on the corner of Legacy and Coit Road)
Call us @ 469-392-4000