It is that time of year again where we gorge ourselves with all the many foods Thanksgiving time has to offer. Have you ever experienced the seemingly inevitable holiday weight gain and drag? It's a pretty real deal.
Since the big day is almost here, I wanted to share a few quick tips to help you thrive this Thanksgiving and keep the extra, unwanted pounds away! They are simple tricks you can try immediately with any of the Thanksgiving Feasts you are a part of!
Let the thriving begin!
Plating the Goodness
Step 6 in my Steps to a Whole Food Lifestyle is a great article to read again before loading up your plate with all the Thanksgiving fixin's, but are skills to master with any meal! But to fill your holiday plate(s) this year, put your turkey, ham or whatever protein first about the size and thickness of your palm (2 if you're a male), load up about half of your plate with non-starchy veggies (if possible, it can be harder to do at a traditional Thanksgiving meal, you could always bring some and then you'll know they will be available). Then try a taste of the other foods available. The main idea here: fill up on protein and veggies first, garnish with the other foods and sweets second. If your body is nourished first, you might not even want the sweets available and therefore, are less likely to overeat them.
Is it Special?
The hope with this tip, is to help you take a minute to evaluate what you're about to eat. Not all "food" is created equal. Especially the goodies and pies that are overabundant during the holidays. For example, a package of processed cookies is probably not too special... The best homemade cookies that your aunt only brings once a year, is probably a different story. I try to bring a "treat" to our feasts that will be a little easier on my belly, like the Raw Chocolate Cheesecake pictured above. Helps with my waistline a little too!
Stop, breathe, and take the time to decide if something is worth eating and if you're even hungry for it. This goes for all foods, not just dessert. IF I am going to have bread, it has got to be fresh and homemade, for it to be "worth" any stomach grumbling or bloating I will probably experience later. 😁 Everyone is difference, and the beauty, is that you get to choose what is worth it to you!
My husband and I tend to agree that it is way more enjoyable to share dessert. It gives us time to actually take a breath between bites, as well as interact with each other more for the treat-eating experience. The holidays are about being with and enjoying the friends and family we love, not about just eating, right? If you don't have someone to share with, no big deal. Try cutting that piece of pie in half or just enough for a few bites to decide how much you are enjoying it first. Still make sure you find someone to strike up an enjoyable conversation with as you enjoy your treat!
Most of us are compulsive eaters. If we are in really close proximity to food, we'll continue to eat and snack, even when relatively full. So if possible, try to go to another room or area of the house to mingle with your friends and family. The dessert table really won't serve you well hanging around it all day. Enjoy the food available and then help your brain move on from it by playing a game, going for a walk, make a holiday craft, or striking up an intriguing conversation with someone. Make the time special with the people in your life, especially if you only see them during holidays!
Get up and Move
I think it is fantastic just how many Thanksgiving 5k's are out there these days. It's super easy to find one to register for and they are often free (or the money is usually donated to a good cause). If you can't find a race nearby or missed the registration, go for a run yourself or get some exercise in some other way: play football, basketball, go sledding, walk, whatever you like. Find someone to come with you. If you ask around, you'll likely find some willing participates in your Thanksgiving party. If you get in some movement, your mind will be more alert, especially from getting outside, and the rest of your body will thank you too!
There it is. What are your tips for avoiding the extra pounds and thriving for the holidays?