Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday! Foods I love, family and friends, but no pressure to buy gifts. Unfortunately it’s also the beginning of 4-6 weeks of over-indulgence and temptation. How are you feeling about going into the eating season? Are you concerned about weight gain, or a sugar coma? Allow me to begin this discussion at the beginning..Thanksgiving dinner.
Some people believe in an all or nothing approach when it comes to unhealthy foods, while others believe in all things in moderation. I guess I would say, I’m a mix of the two theories. For me, deprivation leads to a binge on that item once in a while to get that fix. I actually love that I can go to a holiday party and have a few chips (get that fix), but not have any at home to continue eating. As long as I don’t buy chips, I won’t eat the whole bag! However, there are now some foods I never eat, because I have found alternatives and I no longer desire the unhealthy version, so in this sense, the “nothing” approach works. For the most part, I eat a whole food plant-based diet. But, full disclosure, I DO plan to eat turkey next week. In fact, I plan to eat anything I want, in moderation. By that I mean, I’m not planning to eat so much that I have regret the next day. So let’s talk strategies to prevent food remorse.
My family always starts out with a plate of veggies, and often a healthy dip like hummus, for people to munch on while everyone arrives and gets settled. I love this! We get in some nutrients before the meal.
If you’ll be a guest and you want to make sure to get some healthy veggies in, offer to bring them.
Water, water, water! Be sure to drink plenty of water before the big meal.
Be thoughtful of your portions. Start small, and if you are still hungry after eating everything on your plate, then think about adding more. Which brings me to: pause.
Pause and ask yourself, “Am I really still hungry, or do I just want the comfort food?” In other words, do you need more food physically, or do you want it emotionally? Or perhaps you simply want something to do with your hands. Another good question to stop and ask yourself is, “If I have another serving, will I regret it later?” If the answer is yes, then reconsider reaching for more.
Watch your alcohol intake. If you drink alcohol, remember that those are calories too. Also, drinking too much will impair your ability to be conscious of your choices.
Don’t beat yourself up. If you do eat more than you plan to, know that tomorrow is a new day. Instead of thinking of the day after Thanksgiving as black Friday, why not make it Fit Friday?! Celebrate what your body can do by getting in some exercise and making healthy food choices.
The most important tips I have for those who will be indulging in a big Thanksgiving meal, is to be thankful. There are so many in this world who go without, or do not have people to be with on the holiday. Be grateful for the full plate and the opportunity to be with others. Happy Thanksgiving!