Christmas Cookies

What Happens to Your Body After a Christmas Binge

During the holidays we indulge in comforting dishes and sweet treats. But if we take a step back from the decadent assortment of food and beverages adorning our homes, maybe we'd have time to realize that what seems like a harmless day of celebration, turns into a glutenous day of feasting. Even worse, these days can result in you consuming thousands of calories more than the recommended daily amount. So, what really happens to your body during a holiday feast? Find out here: 

Sugar

You may tend to snack all day on Christmas. Cinnamon rolls and egg nog for breakfast. A couple hours later you pop a few of grandma's Christmas cookies in your mouth. A half an hour later you indulge in a couple of chocolates. An hour later you start sipping a soda. If you think sugar only affects your waistline, you'd better think twice! Eating sugar throughout the day also has an impact on your teeth. Every time you eat something sweet it can take up to 30 minutes for your mouth to return back to a healthy acidity level. Instead of snacking on sweets continuously throughout the day, pick one or two treats and eat them after dinner. 

Alcohol 

Spiked egg nog or champagne anyone? Sounds enticing, but do the pros really out way the cons when you indulge in alcoholic beverages? Excessive alcohol consumption wreaks havoc on your stomach, causing acid reflux, severe bloating or even a stomach ache. Not to mention the artificial sweeteners found in many mixers are made up of difficult to digest carbohydrates. And let's not forget the morning after hangover that will have you asking yourself "Why did I drink so much last night?" To avoid all of these unwanted symptoms the simple solution is to not drink at all. If you find yourself feeling deprived, go for a two drink max and sip them around dinner time, which will help you drink less.  

Dinner 

Mom finally yells that dinner is ready! You all sit down to eat and before you know it you're so full it feels like you have a balloon in your belly! As the food coma begins to sink in, you start to regret all the food you just ate. Food comas can last for hours, and induce an overwhelming feeling of drowsiness. This occurs because there's a slight shift in the blood flow from your brain to the digestive organs. So, how the heck do you stop overeating? First of all, remember that your eyes are bigger than your stomach. Start with smaller helpings, you can always go back for seconds. Pick a starch to avoid, either bread, mashed potatoes, or corn etc. Lastly, eat slowly! Allow your brain to catch up with your stomach, which will tell you when you're satisfied. 

A Timeline of Events- Before, During, and After Your Meal

Prior to the meal- You're hyped up and can't wait to dive into the mashed potatoes and other holiday foods. You've most likely been snacking throughout the day and will not be eating on an empty stomach.

20 minutes- The average stomach can hold about 1 liter. It takes about 20 minutes for the full signals to reach your brain and gastrointestinal tract. Unfortunately, by this time, most people have already overeaten. Slow down!

30 minutes- As you continue to eat, your blood sugar levels rise. Your pancreas starts producing insulin, which is then converted to glucose and stored as glycogen. This drop in blood sugar levels produces an onset of drowsiness. 

1 Hour- More blood continues to flow to your digestive tract. Your heart and metabolic rate increase to aid in digestion. Rich foods you ate are more difficult for your body to process. Alcohol will further slow digestion.

2 Hours- A meal heavy in protein and fat can sit in your stomach for two to three hours, resulting in belly bloat. 

3 Hours- It takes about three hours for your body to break down a glass of wine. Did you drink more than that? 

6 Hours- It takes about six to eight hours for food to pass through your stomach and into the small intestine, which is then transferred to the large intestine.

 

24 Hours- Hopefully by now any hangover has passed. The body may begin eliminating undigested food, after absorbing water and minerals and storing excess fat.

The Calorie Breakdown 

Breakfast

  • 2 cinnamon rolls - 280 calories

  • 2 over easy eggs - 140 calories

  • 8 oz glass of egg nog - 380 calories

Total: 800 calories

Snacks

  • 2 oz of cheese and 5 crackers - 300 calories

  • Rye bread and dill dip - 200 calories

  • 12 oz Coke - 140 calories 

Total: 640 calories

 

Dinner

 

  •  2 slices of honey roast ham - 240 calories

  • 2 bread rolls with butter - 300 calories

  • 1/2 cup gravy - 50 calories

  • 1/2 cup mashed potatoes - 130 calories

  • 1 cup green bean casserole - 161 calories

  • 1/2 cup corn - 60 calories

  • 1 cup stuffing - 294 calories

 

Total: 1,355 calories

 

Dessert and Drinks

  • 2 glasses of champagne - 250 calories

  • 2 light beers - 220 calories

  • Slice of apple pie - 400 calories

  • 1/2 cup vanilla ice cream: - 145 calories

  • 2 chocolate chip cookies - 340 calories

Total: 1,355 calories

 

 

The Damage: 4,030 calories