I absolutely love Thanksgiving because I get to spend time with my favorite people and express just how thankful I am for them. One of my favorite parts is that my family makes our favorite Greek dishes that only come around once a year! Let’s face it- holidays are usually very food-focused occasions; food is a way for us to celebrate this special day. Unfortunately, this also means that there can be a lot of pressure to try every dish and stuff yourself to oblivion. Here are a few simple tips to enjoy Thanksgiving without leaving in a complete food coma.
Focus on Maintenance: One of my main tips every holiday is to focus on maintenance rather than weight loss. If you focus on restricting yourself, it may actually lead to overindulging. Avoid an all-or-nothing mentality; focus on moderation and control instead. Try to maintain where you are, listen to your body, and enjoy the foods you crave in a sensible way.
Don’t Starve Yourself: This is just completely foolish and can work exactly opposite from what it was intended to do. Make sure you eat a sensible breakfast in the morning to start your day off right; emphasize protein and fiber to keep you full and satiated. Try an egg on whole-wheat toast with a piece of fruit, or a big oatmeal bowl with fresh berries, walnuts and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. I like to eat an apple before the event to fill up so I’m not completely ravenous.
Easy on the Alc: Booze still has calories people, and drinking like a fish will only leave you feeling gross AND hungover in the morning. Water down your drink with seltzer, choose clear liquor over dark (more to come about this in a future post), and try to nurse one or two drinks the entire night. If I eat a lot and feel very full after the meal, I drink a cup of warm water- this stimulates the GI tract and gets things moving.
Choose Wisely: It’s certainly tempting to want to eat every single dish on the dinner table. Before you dive in head first to the stuffing, take a deep breath and survey the table- what are the dishes that you absolutely can’t go without this Thanksgiving? Decide what those must-have dishes are and portion those out on your plate.
Create A Calorie Deficit: If you ignore all of this advice and listen to one thing, LISTEN TO THIS- exercise. Creating a calorie deficit by exercising the morning of Thanksgiving can help you burn off some extra calories to offset the heavy intake of calories on this food-filled day. Take a fitness class at your local gym, sign up for a Turkey Trot race, or even go for a simple walk with a family member; every little bit counts.