Thanksgiving is for celebrating and being thankful. We get together with friends and family for a feast that traditionally is the act of giving thanks; grateful acknowledgement of benefits or favours. It originated to give thanks for harvest. Now a days it is more about eating a lot of food and football.
What if we focused more on the original reason for Thanksgiving which is to be grateful and acknowledge our blessings. Eating until you explode isn’t a great way to be thankful for your health. Holidays of any kind, becomes an excuse to binge and gorge. We feel terrible after and that really takes away from the amazingness of the meal!
Be thankful and being present in the moment is key to actually celebrating what Thanksgiving is all about. Here are some tips to turn Thanksgiving into an enjoyable experience and keep you from those UNWANTED GAINS!
- Don’t over eat!!!! Ya Ya I know! Easier said than done! With appetizers, dinner and dessert, you will find yourself stuffed! Everyone reading this, if you eat things just because it is there raise your hand! I bet you all have a hand up! Just because there is food in front of you doesn’t mean you need to eat it! 90% of the time in these situations you munch because it is there. Save yourself for the foods you really really want! If you want candied sweet potato, eat it just don’t eat 3 servings of it.
- Offer to bring something and make it a healthy dish! This could be potatoes, dessert or a veggie! Encourage others to do the same. Make it fun and have a contest. Who ever brings a healthy dish gets a prize as a thank you! The more enjoyable the experience the more you appreciate what is in front of you!
- Eat a small snack before you go so you aren’t starving when you get there! Best thing would be a balanced snack. This should include a high fiber carbohydrate, fat, and protein if you eat meat. The balance of macros, especially the high fiber will keep blood sugar levels stable and you have less of a chance of craving foods!
- Keep the alcohol to a minimum! A glass of red wine, or even better whip up a fun non-alcoholic drink that you can drink. Make it look amazing! But keep the sugar low. A great choice would be lemonade made with organic lemons, stevia and add some mint. Added frozen fruit is also a great way to spruce it up! Red wine does have it’s benefits but again keep it to a minimum if you choose to drink it. It’s the empty calories that sneak up on you!
- If you are right handed, keep your non-alcoholic beverage in that hand. You will be less likely to reach for food. A little mind trick! Keep your picking hand busy! Help with dinner, play cards whatever it might be. Just keep busy!
- Don’t stand near the food table! If you see it and it is right in front of you, you are sure to start nibbling. Then it is a train wreck from there! You will just keep going!
- For a sit down meal, put small portions on your plate and eat slowly. It takes a bit for your body to register it’s full. Eating slow allows you to stop from eating too much! Chew your food at least 20 times and put your fork down between bites. If you slow it down you won’t want to eat as much. Your brain will let you know you are full when you are actually full.
- If you are having guests to your place, send leftovers with others so you don’t have the bulk of the food in your fridge. Lighten up your recipes, they won’t know the difference!!!
- If you are trying to stay on track make sure your hostess/host knows. This way they will more than likely not bug you about eating or not eating. They may even add a little some healthy to their menu because they suddenly feel the need to stay healthy themselves!
- After dinner take a family walk! Get some fresh air and get off your backside for 30 minutes! More than likely you have been sitting around for hours! Movement is great and encouraged. It doesn’t have to be walking lunges down the sidewalk, just enjoy the fresh air and your company.
The most important tip is don’t beat yourself up for enjoying yourself. If you stick to the tips above you should be proud of yourself! Guilt is the one thing that creates an unhealthy mindset with your health and fitness goals. Once you are done dinner that is that! Back on track with no guilt! Don’t keep eating junk because you feel like you messed up! Get past it and back on track.
Remain positive! The problem with overeating is it affects your mood and brings you down. Overeating makes you want to keep eating because it affects your insulin. Really keep to the plan and get back on track with healthy eating right after! Keep the blood flowing and the endorphins going! Movement and no self-judgment, will keep you in an amazing mood and burn off those extra calories!