I would venture to guess most of us have made a vow to shave off a few extra pounds “after the holidays.” Most of us take the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s as a time to indulge and gain a bit of weight that we promise to address come New Year’s day! Indulging around the holidays is certainly fine, even if you are aiming to lose weight or maintain a health lifestyle. It’s important not to feel deprived of your favorites. Even so, here are a few helpful tips on how to do the least amount of damage on Turkey Day–all the while, enjoying your favorite treats.
1. Reset your focus– Instead of focusing on the food, focus on enjoying your time with family and friends. Be sure to mingle and talk with all of the people you may not get to see throughout the year. You may find yourself eating a bit less, and having more meaningful conversations.
2. Fill up on the good stuff. — While making your plate, serve up a fist-size portion of your favorites, even if they are splurges. Fill the rest of your plate with vegetables (not sweet potato casserole with marshmallows!), cranberry sauce, and other low calorie sides.
3. Stop when you are full.– Everyone knows this, but often our definition of full is stretched on Thanksgiving Day. Eat slowly, enjoy, and pay attention to your body. Remind yourself that it is not enjoyable to feel overstuffed. If possible, bring home some leftovers to enjoy over the coming days, rather than overeat all at once.
4. Volunteer for clean-up duty.– Your hosts will appreciate, and you will prevent yourself from grazing on candied nuts, leftovers, or early desserts. You can work up an appetite for pumpkin pie at the same time!
5. Eat a realistic amount of dessert. Choose one item you really love, or very small helpings of a couple of treats.
6. If you feel really ambitious, incorporate exercise into your holiday. Organize a walk around the neighborhood after dinner–you may be surprised on how many takers you get. If not, plan a workout for the morning after. Ask a friend to come along for added motivation.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!