Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and it’s time to stuff yourself with Turkey, gravy and all the good stuff!
If you’re trying to lose or maintain your weight, Thanksgiving can be a tricky time. I get it. Finding balance between enjoying yourself and staying on track is a hard thing to do.
I’m not here to tell you to abstain from enjoying your Thanksgiving meal, rather I want to provide you with strategies to not overly stuff yourself and feel heavy and bloated.
So, here we go.
- Eat regularly throughout the day
Part of mindful eating is to be aware of and control your hunger levels by eating regularly throughout the day. Don’t assume that you need to ‘fast’ all day or reduce the number of meals you eat so that you can indulge in your food. If anything, you’d want to fit in a few meals before your main meal, so you feel less hungry when you approach the table. Compare the time you’ve approached the dinner table starving vs hungry. When would you overeat, and eat unhealthily? Some food for thought.
- Pick your favorites
Rather than indulging in everything you see in front of you, plan what you want to indulge in beforehand. Pick 1-2 favorite Thanksgiving dishes of yours and enjoy them without feeling limited or guilty.
- Plan your food intake
I know you may want to just stuff your face with everything on the dinner table, just because it’s Thanksgiving. Aside from picking your favorites, decide what’s worth eating, and what’s worth skipping out on. That way, you can portion control more effectively.
- Eat slow and enjoy every bite
Mindful eating also includes chewing more with every bite, and putting your fork down in between each bite to eat more slowly and focus on your food. The more you chew, the better you’ll digest your food. The slower you eat, the quicker you’ll feel full. It takes the brain 20 minutes to realize the stomach is full. So, take your time and enjoy every bite.
- Practice portion control
Of course, being mindful also means being aware of the amount of food you eat. Ideally, you want to portion your plate so that half of it is vegetables, a quarter protein (turkey), and a quarter carb (sweet potato, corn bread). By portion controlling and sticking to one plate, you’ll prevent overeating.
Mindful eating plays a huge role in what you eat and how much you eat during Thanksgiving. By simply practicing mindfulness, you’ll eat healthier and in a more balanced way. It’s important to understand that as part of having a healthy relationship with food is to enjoy and not limit yourself. It’s also important not to punish yourself by feeling guilty of your actions. Be easy and don’t judge yourself during the meal.
Remember, Thanksgiving is a day to let loose (with control!) but know that one day of deviating from your routine shouldn’t be an excuse to continue doing so. By thinking this way you’ll take the pressure of your chest and prevent overeating. If you exercise and eat well consistently, remind yourself of this habit and pick yourself up the next day and go back on the healthy track.