A Practical Guide to Year End Feasting

It's the time of the year where we roll back our sleeves, eat, drink and be merry. Lots of eating for sure. As a healthcare practitioner and investment consultant, I am at my wits end at times in deciding if I should go with the flow ..... afterall its festive season or stick to my goals relentlessly in pursuit of perfection .... more so of what others will perceive knowing what I do and preach.

So I sat down to write this practical guide for myself. I don't want stray away from my health and diet goals but at the same time I don't to be a shmuck. So here goes ....

Preparing for Year End ....... Get Ready !

Many of you might have holiday plans or just even stay at home as many companies would be winding down approaching year end. For me it was slow for business as many clients were away or spending more time with family. So I took the opportunity to exercise more. I increased my 3 times a week workouts to 4 times a week and also included 1 long walk with family on the weekends. That way I got to be fitter and also increased my metabolism organically. I included more fibre rich foods at the same time to ensure I don't get hungry faster than usual. That way I have set myself up for the feasting by first a) Getting Fitter and Leaner, b) Increasing my Metabolism to compensate for the potential feasting and c) Enhanced my Digestion by ingestion more Fibre and Improving my Gut Flora. Now I think I am quite set up till the rat race begins next year.

Preparing for The Feast ..... Ride The Wave !!!

So I have prepared well by incorporating small changes to my diet and lifestyle to get ready for the feasting. And the day comes for the feast. On the morning of the feast I usually have a bowl of oatmeal with some apples. Its a simple breakfast which does not tax the stomach a lot and tire it out. Remember the stomach needs to be ready and not worn out to tackle the giant meal. A recently published article cites that an average British men consumes about 6000 calories on December 25th. That is more than twice the daily average for men in UK. So we can no longer pretend those calories don't count.

So I eat a simple breakfast like oatmeal and apples before heading for a Christmas lunch. It gets a but more tricky if I am heading for a Christmas Dinner. For the Dinner I usually have a simple lunch with lots of green vegetables and a simple protein source like chicken or eggs or fish and no carbs. Just to keep the stomach working but not tax it too much. 2 hours before the feast I have a simple protein shake with chia seeds and then prepare to leave. At the feast I don't have any restrictions except I try not to eat too much carbs which is what i practice. That way I a) My Diet Principles and my Feasting are not totally contrary, b) I eat what I want. I love my proteins and veges anyway so bring on the Turkey and Pot Roast ...... and c) My stomach is ready to work harder than usual and that feast actually helps spike my metabolism like a refeed day would.

The Day After ...... Resetting !!

If I follow this approach I should not be feeling like crap the day after. In fact in a recent test I did, I actually felt great the day after and my workout was over the roof !! Of course my stomach did great to digest the food but there would still be the byproducts of such a feast. So as a rule of thumb, I usually do a simple gut cleanse to clean out. There are many fancy recipes on the internet which may work for you but I usually rely on my Gut Cleanse product GI Complete by Nutritional Frontiers. I prescribe them to all my patients both locally and my International Patients. My and my wife also use it. Its simple, easy and the dose is precise. One scoop with water first thing in the morning before breakfast is all I need and I am set. I also take the Super Biotics from Nutritional Frontiers with 50 Billion CFUs to repopulate the gut flora. That is just an insurance policy for me. I also give myself a break from heavy eating the day after with simple salads. That is like pressing the reset button for me.

Conclusion ....

Feasting can be fun and enjoyable if you have a good approach. You just need to put in a little effort to plan ahead, make effort to prepare yourself well, enjoy the feast responsibly and reset your system. This I had personally tested out and it works for me. I won't say it will work for you 100% but you would not be totally off doing this. You just need to make some adjustments based on your own body system. Take responsibility for your body system, own it and enjoy your feasts. Enjoy a Happy & Healthy Holiday ...........

Advance Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year Ahead ..............

Shawn Sugendran

Lifestyle Medicine

Singapore Wellness Centre