5 Holiday Food Myths Busted

Rucuss staffDecember 2, 2011

There are plenty of holiday myths.

Some good, some bad. Many people tend to believe the bad ones without doing their research. The most popular myth is that you will gain weight during the holidays. It can be true in some instances, but most often it depends on the person.

Self magazine decided to set the record straight on holiday myths. The magazine picked the top five myths and found out if they were fact or myth, check them out below.

1. Eating turkey will make you sleepy: Myth
While turkey does contain an amino acid called tryptophan which plays a role in the sleep-inducing process, the amount in turkey is not enough to create this effect. If you feel sleepy after Thanksgiving dinner it’s more likely to be from eating such a large meal high in carbs and fat, which sends blood rushing to your digestive tract, away from the brain (where it keeps you alert).

2. You should exercise before a holiday meal or party to help balance your food intake: Fact.

Although some people fear that exercising before a dinner or a party will lead them to eat more, research actually shows the opposite is true. Moderate exercise before a big dinner or party will actually boost your metabolism and can even slightly suppress your appetite.

3. If you have indigestion after a meal, it was most likely due to something you ate: Myth
While it’s true that some favorite holiday foods can trigger indigestion (because they’re high in fat), other factors such as the environment in which you ate can also play a role. Holiday stress, eating too quickly, or nervousness can also lead to indigestion.

4. Most people gain between 5-10 lbs. during the holiday season: Myth

While it is important to be mindful of our eating during the holidays, there is no need to stress out too much about it. Most people think they gain close to 10 lbs. between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, but one study showed that the average weight gain was only around a pound.

5. You should eat your normal meals and snacks leading up to parties and holiday dinners: Fact
Many people skip meals and snacks leading up to holiday events in an effort to “save” calories for the party or dinner. The problem with this is that by the time they are presented with food at the party or dinner, they are so hungry that they end up overeating. So a better strategy is to eat balanced meals and snacks as you normally would and then enjoy a reasonable portion of food at the party or dinner.

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