Food for Thought: How What You Eat Affects Your Brain | by Dr. David Ludwig  | Medium


Food for thought around the holidays:

October 31st to January 2nd spans the holiday season. This accounts for about 2 out of the 12 months of the year. During this time, we find ourselves buying gifts while cooking and baking foods specific for the holidays we celebrate and the people we care about. When the holiday season comes around, we probably don’t have the same weekly rhythm we normally have. Here are a few things to think about as you navigate the rest of the holidays:


Course #1: The long game

We may skip the gym one day, eat a lot over the weekend, or travel (???) to see family. It’s important to recognize that these are often one-time occasions. They may occur more than once over these 2 months, but they’re not everyday events. These little drops in the bucket of the year don’t suddenly derail your habits, your gains, or suddenly change your results that you’ve worked hard for. Play the long game and enjoy the celebrations and all that accompanies them!


Course #2: Full first, then dessert

Raising your level of satiety before entering dessert mode can help take the edge off of cravings or other temptations. Try adding 2 glasses of water to your meal (drinking ½ your body weight in ounces is also part of your bingo challenge!) and see if you can set a small target of getting a baseball sized amount of protein BEFORE dessert comes or the bowls of snacks run amuck. These goals may help make decisions a bit easier.


Course #3: Compensation doesn’t balance it out

Over the course of the holidays, its more than likely that your sleep rhythm, eating patterns, stress levels are not like a “regular week”. Add in an election and what seems like an everlasting pandemic, it’s definitely not a “regular week”. Thus, when you eat less nourishing foods, you don’t need to go do a marathon the day after to compensate. We’re just adding fuel to the fire through more acute stress. Instead, try moving more throughout the day such as walking, taking the stairs, or playing in the snow. These low threshold (and fun!) activities may help you feel more recovered physiologically without the feeling of hitting a brick wall like doing air bike sprints!


At the end of the day, the holidays bring us joy and cheer but also obstacles and other difficulties. This is okay; You’re not alone! If there is something on your mind, don’t hesitate to reach out to a coach. We hope this finds you well and helps you navigate the rest of the year!

Happy holidays to all, and to all a good night • The Louisville Cardinal