With the Thanksgiving holiday just around the corner, it is beneficial to plan how you’re going to eat. Planning how to eat may seem silly or impossible to some, but I find it easier to not overeat when I have a plan and have given it some time to set in my mind before the actual meal is in front of me. I would like to share some tips to go ahead and think about and get a mindset to avoid overeating on Thanksgiving Day. By the way, this will work for any holiday, so think about Christmas too!
Eat before Thanksgiving dinner
I’m not saying eat a meal before the big meal. But you shouldn’t be famished when dinner is served. Eat an apple or drink a full 8oz glass of water about 30 minutes before the turkey and trimmings make it to the table. This is almost always 100% effective in curbing your insatiable hunger from smelling the food being prepared. Also do not skip breakfast on Thanksgiving morning, or any other morning for that matter. It is a proven fact that not eating breakfast leads to over indulging later in the day.
According to the USDA, most people gain weight due to lack of portion control. So think about portion control first! Portion control is synonymous with weight control. You really can eat some of all of your favorite foods at Thanksgiving if you just put 1 tablespoon of each food item you like on your plate. Chances are if you follow the other tips to be listed, you won’t even be able to finish everything on your plate. You will be full much sooner than you normally would. By controlling your portions, you will also avoid the indigestion, bloating, heartburn, and stomach aches that generally result from overeating.
Balance vegetables, starches, and protein
Even though I said in the portion control section you can add 1 tablespoon of any foods you like, it is best to divide your plate into thirds and fill 1 third of your plate with vegetables, 1 third with meat, and the final third with the starchy foods such as potatoes, corn, rice, casseroles, etc. Limit yourself to 1 roll or piece of bread. Preferably if you’re having dressing, it would be great to let that be your bread, and skip the roll.
Do not add additional salt or butter
Normally, all of the food you will be eating will have plenty enough salt through preparation, maybe not enough for your taste buds, but certainly enough to meet your daily required intake. Use black pepper instead, as much as you want. All of the rich foods prepared for Thanksgiving will have enough butter without adding more at the table.
Since you’ve already had breakfast and an apple or water before the meal, you shouldn’t be hungry enough to be cramming food. Slow down and enjoy your family and guests. Chew slowly and savor each bite, so that you will actually taste it before you swallow.
Don’t eat seconds (unless)
Don’t refill your plate, unless it is with raw vegetables or salad. If you do all of the above, you should be filling pretty full by now or before.
If your hostess offers a little time between dinner and dessert, take advantage of it. That will give you some time to determine if you really have room for it. If you still have room, limit yourself to one smallslice of cake or pie.
If you follow all of the tips above, you will enjoy after dinner as much as you did eating it! You won’t be overly full, and you won’t be disappointed in yourself for overindulging.
These are things we’ve all read or heard about, but they really do work and chances are your scales will show the same weight the next day! You will have enjoyed the meal, but not gained any unwanted extra pounds.