It’s tough to not want to indulge this time of year. All the dishes smell and taste so good and we wait all year to enjoy them. I’m all for special occasion dining and living it up a few times a year. However, Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the season of overeating so why not try the best you can by not going off the deep end so early on? Your health is the most important gift so honoring your good fortune on the day of thanks is a great way to take care of that gift.
Here are just a few easy tips that can help you avoid being the stuffed bird this holiday.
1. Don’t go to Thanksgiving dinner hungry
Most people starve themselves all day thinking that it will offset their over indulgence later on. Not a good idea. We often eat faster and more when we are hungry, eating more then we can actually fit in our stomachs. Eat a wholesome breakfast and lunch on the day to avoid overeating at dinner time.
2. Thanksgiving dinner is not an all-you-can-eat buffet
Fill your plate half with vegetables, one quarter with a protein and the rest with a starch of your choice. Eat slowly and stop when you are full. I know the starches are the best part of Thanksgiving but there are always leftovers!
3. Skip the Turkey
Turkey has tryptophan, the chemical that causes everyone to pass out after dinner. In addition, you can bail on cholesterol and fat but sticking to a whole protein like a quinoa filled squash or brown rice and mushroom wellington. Yum!
4. Moderation is always the key
For some reason Thanksgiving increases our eyeball size so much that we think we can shovel in pounds of food. Fill a side dish instead of a large entree dish and eat slowly. You’d be surprised how quickly you fill up and that you don’t need to stuff your face to enjoy the holiday.
5. Make a conscious choice to limit high fat items
Try not to use the whole container of vegan butter (or regular) in your mashed potatoes and don’t cut your pie into 4ths. Traditional Thanksgiving meals are notorious for rich foods. So if you’re cooking, try healthier recipes and if not, limit your portion sizes.
6. Drink plenty of water
Alcohol and coffee can dehydrate your body. Drink calorie-free water to help fill up your stomach and keep you hydrated.
Do your best to try implementing some of these tips and you will have a much happier holiday. For sure you won’t hate yourself when you try to put on jeans the next day!