Holiday weight gain is imminent as Thanksgiving feasts hang over our heads, and later our waistbands.
There's something about sitting around a holiday dinner table that draws in discussions about fad diets, Kim Kardashian's waist trainers and Auntie's latest health kick. We are all, to some healthy (and unhealthy) degree, fixated on our food consumption: the best, worst, healthiest, tastiest and the most Instagrammable foods.
The latest dieting wisdom comes from registered dietitian and nutritionist Emily Field, who revealed to Business Insider her approach to a healthy diet. (Hint: It involves a second burger.) It's called balance.
Field said that the three most important components of food -- fat, carbohydrates and proteins -- each provides our bodies with nourishment in different ways. Fat absorbs vitamins and minerals, protein fuels muscle building and helps us feel full, and carbohydrates give us energy.
A meal containing all three components gets the thumbs-up.
Field's "balance-forward" approach to healthy eating comes from a recent study, published in the journal Nutritional Metabolism, suggesting balanced macronutrients (fats, carbs, proteins) regulate our blood sugar levels.
Fat and proteins are your friends; they slow down the breakdown of carbs. But let's say your response to "Would you like fries with that?" is yes. You'll notice that every surface starts to look like a potential napping pod (A bus bench never looked so cozy.) Your blood sugar spikes and falls, leaving you feeling "hunger-over."
If you can't kick the carb habit, Field advises her clients to add fat and protein to meals, which helps cushion the carb crash later. Field's wisdom can also be applied to fast food. Her suggestion: opt for two burgers in place of fries.
The basic macronutrient analysis of a fast food burger looks like this: burger bun (roughly 40 grams of carbs), meat (17 grams of protein; around 10 grams of fat). Order a side of fries and you nearly double the calories and carbs, shifting your plate to a mostly carb-filled fare.
According to Field, by substituting fries for a second burger, you are nearly doubling protein intake, while reducing fat and carb intake.
What this means for you: Come "turkey time" on Turkey Day, feel free to go for seconds.