Thanksgiving. A time of friends, family, really good food, a lot of really good food, and slipping into your worn-out stretchy pants at the end of a long meal. Did you also know that the average American is going to indulge in a whopping 4,500 calories in this one day?! That’s more than double the daily recommendation.
As good as the food is, it sucks to be uncomfortable afterwards. You know the feeling; like even your stretchy pants aren’t enough, you’re not sure if you need to puke or take a #2, and you’re ready for the world’s longest nap, and when you wake up you’re all hot and sweaty and gross (just me?)
Luckily, you CAN have your cake and eat it too. Here’s my top tips for surviving Thanksgiving AND enjoying it!!!!!
#1 – Try to relax and enjoy.
If you’re someone who’s a bit obsessed about what you’re putting into your body and how it affects your weight and how bloated you’re going to be and how many calories you’re having (raises hand) then this tip is for you. RELAX. Believe it or not, this holiday doesn’t have to be about food at all. Make it about spending time with the ones you love. Focus on filling your cup with laughter and joy and happiness. Make the food secondary, and you’ll get to fully relax and enjoy this day!
#2 – Bring a healthy dish or two
Afraid of what the family’s going to prepare? Bring your own healthy options to share! Hop on over to Pinterest and look for healthy holiday recipes, and you’ll find thousands of ideas so you don’t feel stuck.
#3 – Fill your plate – it’s a science!
I know it can be tempting to pile those mashed potatoes and that stuffing high, but try to refrain. It’s not your last meal. You will eat again. So, start with all of the veggie sides and fill your plate. Squash, green beans, Brussel sprouts, salad – whatever isn’t a turkey or a potato – put those on your plate first. Best part? THERE IS NO LIMIT TO THESE! So take as much as you want.
When it comes to the heavier stuff like stuffing and potatoes, try fitting them into ¼ of your plate. Or, just take ONE scoop of each. You can always get more if you feel called to! As for the turkey, make that another ¼ of your plate, and try to go a little easy on the gravy.
#4 – SLOW DOWN
I know I just said this, but this is not the last meal you will ever eat. So slow down and actually taste and enjoy it! Notice the textures, the flavors, really savor all of the hard work that was put into this meal. When you take the time to slow down, you a) give your brain the sensory experience it craves during a meal, and b) give your brain enough time to signal that you’re full. Oh, and you’ll have better digestion which means less upset tummies! Aren’t leftovers the best part of Thanksgiving anyway??!
#5 – Let go of guilt
So, you had 2 rolls, a giant piece of pumpkin pie, half a box of stuffing, and a mountain of potatoes. What now?
Drink plenty of water throughout the rest of the day to help flush your system. Breathe. Go for a short walk. Let it go. This is a holiday after all! Revert back to tip #1. Instead of focusing on how “bad” you were and feeling like crap, redirect your focus to your loved ones. Ask them to go for a walk with you, or build a snowman, or go to the beach if you’re in Florida like me
The holidays are such a special time. It’s true, they only come around once a year. But just remember; they are NOT about your weight, calories, food, exercise, body image, etc. They are about love not only towards others, but towards yourself.
Feel good and enjoy your Thanksgiving!!!!