Thanksgiving is a great time to enjoy spending time with family and friends. It is also a great time to pack on unwanted pounds. So we have come up with some healthy “rules” for surviving Thanksgiving.
Have a plan you can be thankful for after Thanksgiving is over! Try these:
- Use the one plate Take smaller portions of the foods you love. Be sure everything fits on one normal sized plate. Avoid stacking foods on top of each other. If you are like most American’s, there will even be turkey left over tomorrow! So don’t eat like this is your last meal and you don’t know when you will ever be able to eat again.
- Use the 15 minute Avoid going back for seconds. If you feel like you are not full, hydrate yourself with some water, wait 15 minutes (which is how long it can take for the brain to register a feeling of fullness). If you are still hungry, go back for more, but remember rule #1.
- Use the slow down Really take the time to be aware of what you are eating. The taste, texture and aroma of food is meant to be savored. Chew slowly and be conscious of your pace. Make a game of trying to figure out which spices were used in every dish.
- Use the be social If you are talking and sharing with friends and relatives it makes it easier to follow rules 2 & 3. You cannot talk and eat at the same time, so enjoy more conversation to avoid over eating. If you combine rules 3 & 4, you never know what great recipes you will find!
- Use the movement Get moving early before your body knows what you are up to for the day. Getting involved in a local Turkey Trot is one great way to start. Taking a walk, playing tag football with the cousins, even washing dishes by hand are all ways to add some movement to your day. If standing while you enjoy your meal is an option, you can try that too.
- Use the healthier choices Eat the white meat without the skin instead of the dark meat with skin, make real cranberries rather than the canned jellied option, use sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg on your sweet potatoes instead of marshmallows, steam some green beans in place of green bean casserole, and choose pumpkin pie over pecan pie for desert. Just a few of these changes have huge rewards in the reduction of overall calorie intake during your family feast.
We would love to hear your plans for how to stay fit this Thanksgiving! Leave your ideas in the comments below.