It is exactly one week until Thanksgiving. Can you believe how fast this year has flown? I literally feel like we were just celebrating the New Year! 2020 will be here before we know it. If you are trying to get through the holiday season without much weight gain, keep reading for my tips on surviving Thanksgiving dinner and other holiday parties.
This time of year tends to be fun, sometimes stressful, and often bad for the belly. From Thanksgiving to Christmas, the average American gains about 5 pounds. This is because one holiday usually includes several holiday parties. And each holiday party includes a lot of food and drinks. I typically go to two Thanksgiving dinners, and I know plenty of people who go to three or four.
It would be nice if we could just throw away our diet for a day of eating, but unfortunately it’s never just one day. Use my tips below to get through each holiday meal without overdoing it.
Have a protein rich breakfast. Do NOT skip meals earlier in the day to “save the calories for later”. Eating a protein-filled meal before the party will keep you from overeating. It is much healthier to keep your calories evenly scattered throughout the day. So avoid the party binge by eating smart beforehand.
Slow down, it’s not a race. Talk at the dinner table. Drink water frequently. Do not shove everything in your mouth in ten minutes and then go pass out. Pace yourself so you can tell when you are full.
Eat on a smaller plate. It’s pretty simple, smaller plates fit less food. Less food means you don’t eat as much!
Fill your plate with vegetables and protein first and then add in the carbohydrates. Filling your plate with healthy stuff first leaves less room for the unhealthy treats. You should also eat these healthy goods off your plate before stuffing your face with rolls.
Avoid anything that is boxed. Skip the packaged foods because they are very processed and filled with extra sodium. Make your meals fresh, so you know exactly what you are eating. Avoid pre-made pies, cakes, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, stuffing… make it all from scratch!
Leftovers are okay. I know that some people hate having leftovers in their house, so they either waste food by throwing the remains away or stuff themselves so they don’t have anything left over. It is inevitable that there will be some food left after a big holiday meal, so instead of trying to fit in all in your stomach at one sitting – accept the leftovers and use them to make healthy meals for the next week.
Thanksgiving is ONE day a year. That’s right, it is only one day. So enjoy your meal that ONE day and then put the pies and gravy aside. I said leftovers are okay, and I stand by that. But when you eat your leftovers, prepare them in a healthy way! Don’t sit down on black Friday and have another Thanksgiving dinner; that’s too much! One meal isn’t really going to hurt you, but two will set you up for three and then four bad meals, and eventually you will lose the healthy groove you had going. Eat one big meal, and then move on!
Move! Help clean up after dinner. Take a walk with your loved ones after you have digested a bit. Try to stay active the rest of the day. Get a workout in. Burn off some of those calories. Fight the food comma.
It’s okay. Like I said before, one meal isn’t going to kill your progress. If you don’t eat so great Thanksgiving Day, it’s okay. But remember what I said – it is ONE DAY. I’m telling you now, if you don’t jump right back into your routine after Thanksgiving you will be doomed until the new year – don’t fall into the holiday season rut! But, enjoy your day and eat some good food!