Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate family, friends, and all of the blessings we have in life. Often during this holiday, we find ourselves surrounded by a large amount of food and desserts. On this day, we will likely not struggle to find a normal meal, but rather to avoid eating enough for several meals. It may seem like an easy task, but all too often, a relatively normal meal goes two to three plates too deep. So how do we enjoy ourselves without feeling guilty or just plain stuffed?
Whether playing sports, giving an important speech, or eating a reasonably sized holiday meal, preparation is key to success. Have a plan before your holiday meal. It does not have to be anything terribly strict. Maybe you will plan on limiting yourself to two plates, or maybe you say to yourself, “I’ll just have one or two dessert items.” There are many ways to prepare and be successful when trying to eat healthier. Different techniques work for different people, so feel free to try several techniques until you find what is best for you.
Quality of Food
Thanksgiving meals often have healthier options available, but they can be easily overlooked for items such as stuffing, or of course, turkey. Enjoy these items, but also be sure to include items such as green beans, carrots, or other veggies that may be included in your Thanksgiving meal. This will give you some healthier options to fill up on. As a tip, I would recommend eating fruit or vegetables first, when you are at your hungriest, as a way to reduce portions of stuffing, dessert, or extra turkey.
Accountability lets you accept responsibility for your decision to stick to healthier eating habits. This can be done two different ways. First, you can be accountable to yourself. It is easy to forget commitments you have made, so try sticking a post-it note on the refrigerator or setting a phone reminder that says, “Just one plate for dessert on Thanksgiving.” It is hard to forget your goals when you remind yourself often. Secondly, you can be accountable to other people, such as friends or family. If you tell your father, sister, best friend, or cousin that you are trying to eat healthier or lose weight, they can encourage and remind you to stick with your goals and be successful.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving with friends and family, have fun, and celebrate with a great Thanksgiving meal. (I will definitely enjoy a slice of éclair cake.) Be sure to give some thought to your goals. If you are trying to lose weight, manage your eating habits, or have a healthier lifestyle, give these tips a try. Enjoy your meal! Just try not to end up stuffed like your turkey.
CHES, ACE Health Coach, AFPA Nutrition & Wellness Consultant