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Let’s discuss how to not over eat on Thanksgiving dinner.
So, it’s Thanksgiving morning and you know you’re going to end up this evening with your pant’s button open…
No! Not again. Not this year. You know better than that.
So what can you do to feel good at the end of an evening? What can you do to avoid the need to pull out your maternity pants the next morning?
1. Start your day with a workout.
You’ll feel better, more energized, in a good mood, and you won’t want to spoil it later on with another helping of mashed potatoes…
Many cities hold a Turkey Trout so consider signing up. You can participate as an entire family and create a new Thanksgiving tradition.
2. Eat your regular meals.
Eat a good breakfast and lunch, high in good protein. You don’t want to eat your dinner on an empty stomach, starving and tired.
Depending on your Thanksgiving dinnertime, consider having a light snack before (fruit and some nuts are a good option).
3. Don’t deprive yourself.
Don’t sit quietly in the corner, watching everyone eating and enjoying dinner while you’re counting calories. Thanksgiving only occurs once a year so you should enjoy it and its special dishes while it lasts, but don’t binge. One reasonable helping of mashed potato is good. You ate it, enjoyed it, no need to keep trying it over and over. Don’t overstuff yourself. Remember – the first few bites of food are the most satisfying.
4. Be mindful.
Thanksgiving dinner (like all meals) is not a race. There is no reward for finishing first. Slow down, chew well, take delight in the food and your company. It takes time for your digestive system to signal your brain that you’re full. So if you’re eating quickly until you feel full, the real sense of fullness won’t hit until later…
5. Start with veggies.
Either soup or salad. Eat your vegetables first and no – mashed potatoes with ketchup - are not considered vegetables.
Vegetables are high in fiber, which will result in making you fuller with fewer calories.
This has 2 parts –
A. Water – Drink plenty of water throughout the day and during the meal, like always.
B. Alcohol – It’s okay to drink and have fun sometimes, but limit your alcohol intake and consider what you’re drinking. Cocktails are usually higher in sugar and calories than wine is. And water has no calories…
7. Focus on what’s important.
Remember it’s Thanksgiving. Be THANKFUL. Take please in your time with friends and family. Use this opportunity to be social with guests and catch up on life.
8. Just say NO.
It’s okay to say no. Don’t eat because you’re afraid to hurt people’s feelings, you’ll just end up hurting yourself.
Just because it’s your mom who made the pumpkin pie doesn’t mean it’s your responsibility to eat half of it.
Speaking of desserts…
Let’s say there are 6 dessert options on the table, you don’t have to eat them all.
Think which one you crave most in the moment, your favorite, the special Thanksgiving treat, the one that brings back sweet childhood memories. Enjoy it.
10. Walk away.
You’re sitting next to the table and that pumpkin pie is just looking at you, calling your name, begging you to take another slice…
Walk away. Literally.
Go help in the kitchen, offer to wash the dishes, entertain the kids, or anything else that will keep you busy and distracted.
You’re about to take the 3rdhelping of sweet potatoes with marshmallows? Stop. Breathe. Take a few deep breaths and ask yourself, “Do I really need that?” “Am I really hungry?” If yes – maybe you can have more salad, maybe drink a glass of water and wait a few minutes to see how you feel.
At the end of the night you feel like you overate anyway?
Don’t beat yourself up.
Tomorrow is a new day and you can start it with a workout and a healthy breakfast.
13. What should I eat?
People ask me – so what should I eat? What’s better to eat on Thanksgiving? What’s healthier? What’s lower in calories?
I’m sure everyone is aware that sweet potatoes with marshmallows might not be the best option. Neither is stuffing. But I do have the perception that this food (usually…) comes once a year and I do realize that food has a big emotional component in our lives, so as I mentioned before, – don’t deprive yourself. Don’t sit at the table with your health app and calculate each bit. Enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner, in moderation. Be mindful, be joyous, be thankful.
You found this helpful but you want more food info? Thanksgiving Part 3 is coming soon…