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Thanksgiving Damage Control

By Cassandra Forsythe-Pribanic, PhD

Dinner’s done. You’re stuffed.

Your pants feel way too snug and you feel like a blow-fish because you’re so bloated.

Yes, that’s right: another Thanksgiving dinner came and went, and you still crammed more stuffing in your mouth than you wanted to, and over-indulged in pie, bread and gravy.

So what do you do now? How can you mitigate some of this damage?

(Not that eating big once in awhile is bad, but for some people, once they fall off the wagon so-to-speak they don’t want to get back on)

Here’s a proven diet trick that will help you regain your footing and put you back on the path to healthy eating: 

The day after Thanksgiving, stay away from all high carbohydrate foods and focus mainly on protein, vegetables and healthy fats.

So, instead of waking up the next day and having cereal and milk for breakfast like you usually do, have eggs and spinach with a side of avocado.

Then, snack on mixed nuts, and fresh cut vegetables.

Followed by big salads with olive oil and some leftover turkey (hold the cranberry sauce).

And finish with a low carb protein smoothie, made with Prograde Protein, peanut butter and a few frozen berries.

If you do this, you’ll lose all of your water retention, and regain your normal pant size. And, you won’t want to dive back into those sugary carbs again!

How does this work?

By keeping your carbohydrates to a bare minimum, you help re-stabilize your blood sugar levels after a roller coaster of highs and lows from the previous day.

Instead of making the situation worse with more carbs,  you’re going to maintain your body’s insulin sensitivity by giving your pancreas a break from all those carbs that normally cause it to release excessive insulin.
Without those carbs, your cells will be able to respond to nutrients without the help of an insulin overshoot. This will help prevent more blood sugar fluctuations.  

Scientific investigations of  low-carbohydrate diets have clearly shown that they help people lose several pounds of cooped-up body water (and trapped body fat), while improving their ability to dispose of carbohydrates in muscle tissue rather than fat.

They stabilize blood glucose levels and allow people normally on insulin-sensitizing drugs to use less or none at all.

Also, low-carb eating plans based off real food (not processed items) reduce your cravings for sugars and starchy foods that you probably don’t need anyhow (and that you probably didn’t need yesterday!).

Your Sneaky Damage Control Plan

So, this Black Friday if you want to correct the damage from the day before, eat your leftovers, but only have the turkey and vegetables.

Stay away from the potatoes, the bread, and especially the dessert.  

Your body will feel so much better, and you won’t want to stuff your face with all that food again ( at least not until next year, that is).



Low-carbohydrate diet disrupts the association between insulin resistance and weight gain.
Leite JO, DeOgburn R, Ratliff JC, Su R, Volek JS, McGrane MM, Dardik A, Fernandez ML.
Metabolism. 2009 Aug;58(8):1116-22. Epub 2009 Jun 18.

Carbohydrate restriction (with or without additional dietary cholesterol provided by eggs) reduces insulin resistance and plasma leptin without modifying appetite hormones in adult men. Ratliff J, Mutungi G, Puglisi MJ, Volek JS, Fernandez ML.
Nutr Res. 2009 Apr;29(4):262-8.