10 Thanksgiving Tips
I don’t know about you but Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday. I am seriously all about the food! So how does one not go off the deep end for the one day of the year? Some may say its just one day out of the year – “go on, treat yourself.” But you and I both know how you are going to feel when you decide to avoid the sensible voice in your head telling you that’s enough and instead deciding to stuff your gut to the max (and then pass out).
But Thanksgiving does not have to sabotage your weight, experts say. With a little know-how, you can satisfy your desire for traditional favorites and still enjoy a guilt-free Thanksgiving feast. After all, being stuffed is a good idea only if you are a turkey!
Duh! How to balance any diet indulgence is to create a calorie deficit by exercising to burn off extra calories before you ever indulge in your favorite foods. So sign up for classes now so you can can get ahead of the game. It always boils down to simple math when it comes to people gaining weight. We need to burn more calories than we ingest so eat less and exercise more. Now if you are giving yourself allowance to splurge on Thanksgiving then we need to get moving and do a little extra so we can eat a little extra! also, try and take a nice walk after dinner and get things moving.
Have you ever tried to skip breakfast and then end up gorging because you become so ravished that you convince yourself a nice deathly said for lunch will not fill you up? That’s because you have literally starved yourself. Experts say eating a small meal in the morning can give you more control over your appetite. Start your day with a small but satisfying breakfast — such as an egg with a slice of whole-wheat toast, or a bowl of whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk — so you won’t be starving when it is time to eat. By doing this you will be able to have more discernment with your food choices, portions and even beverage options.
There is more sugar and fat in most Thanksgiving recipes than is usually needed. No one will notice the difference if you skim calories by using lower calorie ingredients so whether you are hosting Thanksgiving dinner or bringing a few dishes to share, make your recipes healthier with less fat, sugar, and calories.
- You could use fat-free, sodium free chicken broth to baste the turkey and make gravy.
- Use sugar substitutes in place of sugar (like stevia) and/or fruit purees instead of oil in baked goods.
- Try to reduce oil and butter wherever you can.
- Try plain yogurt or fat-free sour cream in creamy dips, mashed potatoes, and casseroles.
Police Your Portions
The act of Thanksgiving itself is to share the beauty of bountiful amount of food. That doesn’t necessarily mean we need to eat everything in sight. Before you fill your plate, survey the buffet table and decide what family favorites you would like to dig into. Then scoop up a reasonable-sized portion of the foods you absolutely cannot live without.
Fill your plate with small portions of your holiday favorites that only come around once a year so you can enjoy desirable, traditional foods and don’t waste your calories on foods that you can have all year long.
Skip the Seconds
Try to resist the temptation to go back for second helpings. give yourself a break after you eat to let your food digest. Research has shown us that it takes your brain 20 minutes to signal that you are full so give yourself that time and then go for that walk we talked about above. Besides, leftovers are much better the next day!
Try to keep in mind that not all odds are created (or prepared) equal! While each of us has our own favorites, keep in mind that some holiday foods are better choices than others.
White turkey meat, plain vegetables, roasted sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, defatted gravy, and pumpkin pie tend to be the best bets because they are lower in fat and calories.
Savor the Flavor
Sometimes it can be so tempting to just dive on in, especially since you have smelled the food cooking all day and you have been waiting patiently. Eating slowly, putting your fork down between bites, and tasting each mouthful is one of the easiest ways to enjoy your meal and feel satisfied with one plate full of food, experts say. Also, spread your course out throughout the day. Have breakfast early and then plan to eat your Thanksgiving Day feast in the late afternoon following your walk with desert later that evening.
Don’t forget those holiday libations are packed full of calories and usually sugars that will add up quickly. By all means, have your fun but try to have a sparkling water in between your alcoholic beverages.
Be Nice to Yourself
Lets be realistic, the holiday season is a time for celebration, not a time for us to decide to lose weight. Why don;t we strive to just maintain and not gain and then you can enjoy yourself. With busy schedules and so many extra temptations, weight loss will be very tricky and you will only be setting yourself up to fail.
What does FFF stand for? Focus on family and friends (not food). Thanksgiving is not just about the delicious bounty of food. It’s a time to celebrate relationships with family and friends.
What are you thankful for?