Sugar season is a great time to gather around a traditional meal. However, the sugar shack is known for offering a culinary experience rich in sugar and fat, which can sometimes leave you feeling overfull and uncomfortable. Here are a few tips to help you enjoy your meal while avoiding feeling too full (nauseous or even heavy in the stomach).
1. Eat a snack beforehand
Make sure you have eaten enough during the day so you don't arrive at the sugar shack hungry. When you are extremely hungry, it is normal to eat more quickly and take in more food in a short period of time, which may explain the digestive discomfort afterwards.
2. Eat slowly and savor every bite.
Taking the time to savor and enjoy food, rather than gulping it down, can be beneficial for digestion and satiety. This is because your body sends a signal to your brain that you should stop eating when you are full. This signal is not immediate and can take 15 to 20 minutes to be triggered. That's why it's important to eat slowly and take the time to chew each bite to allow your body to feel the signals of satiety. If you eat too quickly, you may eat more than you really need and feel physically uncomfortable.
Tip: Put your fork down after 2-3 bites to slow down the pace.
3. Choose small portions and make sure you have vegetables.
Start your meal with at least one serving of vegetables to get your fill of vitamins and fiber. Everything looks good? No problem, you can try everything in small portions. If you don't have enough, you can always take a piece of the food you still want to eat.
4. Avoid drinking carbonated beverages that can add to your discomfort
Sugary drinks such as soda, fruit juice or soft drinks are high in sugar and empty calories. The bubbles in these drinks can cause bloating, which may make you uncomfortable. Drinking water during the meal will help you feel better and help you stay hydrated.
5. Take a short break between courses to allow your body to start digesting before continuing to eat.
The break can also allow your body to receive the signal to feel full. Pay attention to your hunger signals. They vary from person to person, but here are a few indications: the food doesn't taste as good, you haven't been hungry for a few bites, and/or your stomach isn't yet tense. These signs indicate that it is time to stop eating in order to feel good.
By following these tips, you can enjoy your meal at the sugar shack while avoiding the feeling of overeating. For further advice, you can make an appointment with one of our dietitians.