One more day until Thanksgiving!!
I’ll be running a half marathon tomorrow…so wish me luck!
So, back in my out-of-control years, food was always on my mind!! Especially when I knew a holiday feast was coming up. I would fixate on how determined I was to avoid certain ‘temptations’. I would think about what foods I would want to eat, but must avoid…and then when I finally came up against those foods, I would always cave in and eat way more than I would have if I had not made such a big deal about it. It was an annoying cycle.
The reality is that Thanksgiving is a HUGE stressor for people wanting to change their health habits, and especially those focusing on losing weight! It really can be a scary, stressful day.
Did you know the average weight gain over the Holiday season is 6-8 pounds? Crazy right? Let’s avoid that.
Focus on the FRIENDSHIP, not the food
What’s the whole reason the food will be there in the first place? So we can gather together. The most important part of life, to me, is relationships. Make the most of social gatherings by getting to know family and friends better. Let them know you love them and why you are grateful for them. Work on your converstation skills. Come prepared with awesome topics to discuss to make the conversation more interesting than the food!
Don’t ever decline a social gathering because there will be food. Remember, it’s not juuust about the food (OK honestly, sometimes it is haha). It’s about the friendships created…which so happens to be around food most of the time. Food is a nice way to avoid feeling awkward, since it gives out hands something to do.
Exercise before you mingle
You know that clean feeling you get after a light workout? Exercising kicks our body and mind into, “I’m a healthy and super awesome person” mode. You’ll want that when you are surrounded by unhealthy choices!
Let your close friends or family know that you are trying to eat healthy, and to please not tempt you into eating what you don’t want to eat.
Don’t go hungry
Eat a healthy snack right before you leave to Thanksgiving dinner. That will avoid binge eating as well as help you stay in control.
Eye ball what amount is a proper serving
You wouldn’t put 5 coookies on your plate at a time, because it just seems like too much. What happens is we eat one at a time, and don’t realize we’ve suddenly eaten five! Put the proper serving size on your plate and stick to it–especially when it comes to mashed potatoes, roles, casseroles and desserts!
Use a small plate
Smaller portions look bigger on a small plate.
Fill up most of your plate with veggies
Get full on the healthy stuff!! You can have the other stuff, but you might as well enjoy the taste of unhealthy food in small quantities and still be satisfied from the healthy options.
Drink 1 cup of water before you eat anything
We often eat because we are thirsty. Make sure you eat out of real hunger, not thirst!
Swallow in between each bite
Put your fork down between each bite
Drink water in between each bite
The above three will help you slow down and actually enjoy the taste of the food! Notice the textures, the different seasonings. Try to guess what the ingredients are! It never feels good to stuff your face.
You will most likely be caught up in conversation–but try to remember to stop and feel your fullness. Ask yourself–on a scale of 1-10, how full am I? Do I need to keep eating to be satisfied?
Decide if you will be happier if you are painfully full, or if you are pleasantly satisfied
Do you enjoy stomach pain? Do you enjoy bloating? What are the benefits from over eating? Can you think of any? Any to make it worth it for you?
It’s your choice
Never say, “I can’t have that, I’m on a diet.” Rather, liberate yourself, take accountability and say, “I choose not to have that,” or, “I don’t want that…I don’t think it will make me feel well.”
Don’t deny yourself if you really really want it
You will most likely binge eat later on if you are screaming inside for that piece of whatever. Let yourself enjoy it, and reaaaaally enjoy it! Smile about it!
Three bite rule
The first bite is always the most exciting, shocker to your taste buds. By the third bite you’re used to it and the level of enjoyment has leveled out.
Smelling it can do the trick
Weird one, but it works for me! Sometimes I would drink water as I smelled what I wanted…but didn’t want to eat. It made it feel like I was having it! You may want to choose your audience wisely for this one 😉
Don’t drink your calories
Stick to water. It’s earth’s magical liquid.
Sit away from seconds
Be strategic in where you sit. Make it inconvenient to eat seconds. Move that basket of rolls out of reach. Let whoever you are sitting by know your trick so they can help. Your end of the table will be able to eat more mindfully, you can bet on that!
Good luck and enjoy this year’s Thanksgiving!!! There is so much to be grateful for!!
Do you get nervous about big dinner parties?
Do you ever skip out on parties because there’s food you can’t eat?
What are YOUR strategies for eating well in a sea of unhealthy food options?
What are your plans for Thanksgiving this year? Going anywhere awesome??