This year, my Lindt Chocolate Advent Calendar only made it to December 2. 🙄My kryptonite is chocolate. 😛 The good news is, after my chocolate feast, I was back on track the next day and haven’t had any chocolate ever since.
Judge me if you like. However, there’s a lesson to be learned here.
Last year, I had one chocolate a day from my Advent Calendar but ended up getting addicted to chocolate and craving it throughout the day. One chocolate was a gateway to eating more treats and indulgences, especially when I got in the habit of having chocolate everyday from my Advent Calendar! I remember one year, I ended up gaining 8 pounds during the holidays!
I’m not necessarily recommending you eat all your chocolates in two days. However, I’m in a better position this year to stay on track. Amazingly, I didn’t gain any weight from my two-day binge fest either.
So, what’s really going on here? Sugar is addictive! It’s an ongoing cycle! Having one chocolate leads to another!
Sugar Addition: The Perpetual Cycle
1. When you eat sugar, dopamine, the happy hormone, is released.
2. Blood sugars levels spike. Mass insulin is then secreted to drop blood sugars.
3. Blood sugar levels then drop rapidly.
4. The rapid drop in blood sugars causes the body to crave the ‘sugar high’, thus increasing your appetite and cravings! The cycle goes on!
Going back to my 2-day chocolate binge… Was it hard after two days of having chocolate? Absolutely! What really matters is, what you do after your binge fest. Do you continue to binge eat throughout the week?
Here are Four Strategies to Survive the Holidays and Still Enjoy the Holidays:
If you’re frequently binge eating, your body is also telling you that you’re not consuming enough food throughout the day, that your meal timing may be off, or perhaps your daily macro-nutrients are off. So, how do you assess if your nutrition may be off? You would assess your biofeedback. How are your stress levels, energy levels, hunger levels, sleep quality, sex drive, and mood? Also look back the past few months to assess how your body and weight have changed. Biofeedback is a whole big topic on its own which I’ll get into next time.
Strategy #1: In order to better tackle your cravings and to deal with the aftermath of binge eating, ensure you have a good quality protein, carbohydrate, and some healthy fats too for each meal. Yes, this will help eliminate cravings. By the way, carbs aren’t bad. It’s over consumption that made them bad.
Strategy #2: If you plan on binge eating, having treats, and drinks every Friday, plan for those indulgences into your daily eating plan. Yes, build it into your nutrition plan and ensure your protein, carbs, and fats are on point. By having sufficient daily macronutrients,, you’ll avoid impulsive eating and unplanned binge eating.
Also, plan at least a day before, what you plan on eating the next day. Like everything else in life, nutrition also requires planning, or you’ll leave it up to chance. =) The reality is, we’re all on a weight gain, weight loss, or maintenance eating plan. Sure the plan you’re on may be intentional or unintentional. Regardless, your body responds to your daily habits.
Good news is, you still can enjoy the holidays and stay on track with your goals! We have all heard it, “have food in moderation.” What does that really mean? I find “moderation” quite ambiguous.
Note: These templates are general but will give you far more guidance than the loose definition of ‘moderation’.
So, what will you be having for breakfast tomorrow? Love to hear from you! Ensure to drink plenty of water! I’ll be covering the importance of hydration in another email. You’ll be quite surprised about my discovery.
Have a great rest of your week!