In today’s increasingly health-conscious America, just about everybody’s doing a diet. Even if it doesn’t have a name, think about it: who doesn’t make more aware purchasing choices at the grocery store in hopes of furthering their own specific dietary priorities?
But whether you’re going vegan, paleo, or just “eating better,” all of that can be rendered irrelevant come Turkey Day: the never-ending tubs of gravy flowing all over your mashed potatoes, the sugar-filled cranberry sauce jiggling on your plate, the salty stuffing that just keeps comin.’ Honestly, it probably won’t matter what you’ll be eating next Thanksgiving– because you’ll be eating a lot of it.
That, there, is the main issue: it’s not so much Thanksgiving’s food choices that are the problem (though they’re admittedly not the best for you), it’s the sheer amount of grub making it from your plate, to your lips, to your hips.
But what should– or can– we do about it? Well, keeping up with a healthy balance is key, as “dieting like crazy” to counter the upcoming feast that awaits you is “setting you up for a caloric catastrophe.” Plus, when you go overboard on a diet, you might also find that your blood sugar gets low, causing your glycogen reserves to be severely depleted; that can make it so you get hunger cravings that you just can’t avoid!
Overeating can also harm your body: “When [the glycogen level] has reached its tipping point, your liver begins to convert all the glucose it has absorbed from your blood into fatty acids,” called triglycerides, as well as cholesterol, which is then stored as fat by your body, says Frances Murchison, HHC, AADP, author of Heal Your Whole Body.
Maintaining a balanced liver is key to eating the right amount. After all, a healthy liver can better manage impending sugar spikes and often-accompanying insulin resistance. That means you shouldn’t be eating liver-hating carbs and grains prior to the annual feast of Thanks. “The more wheat products” people chow down on, Murchison continues, the more frequently their blood glucose level spikes, which makes them produce more insulin. But when you have a consistent, sustained amount of insulin, Murchison goes on, your tissues can become resistant to insulin, causing your liver to lose its insulin sensitivity; all of these things can cause it to misinterpret brain signals and start to change stored glycogen into blood sugar– a process that only raises your blood sugar levels more!
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