Updated: Nov 19, 2019
Sitting down at the Thanksgiving table, mouth is watering, chatter is filling the rooms with different conversations, jazzy music played in the background setting the mood, and the juicy scent of food you've been waiting for is being picked up in your olfactory foramina (okay sorry, nerding out here in anatomy land).
Thanksgiving is a time that brings family and friends together to celebrate friendships, love, good food and people. It is a time that can really set you into the holiday spirit (if you don’t ride off a high from Halloween).
This is also a time that people tend to lose track of their health goals or struggle with their actions. Let me tell you, I totally get it! You see all of this food around you and it can cause a lot of anxiety for some. In the end it totally can be a recipe for disaster.
It seems like people either are nervous about all of the food around them or they are part of the #stretchypants crew and binge eat multiple portion sizes their stomach can't handle. Either sides of this spectrum can cause the holiday to go sideways.
That is exactly why I wanted to write this post. Because you CAN have freedom with this holiday and still be on track with your health goals. Take it from someone who found out that they are #glutenintolerant and all you see is gluten around you!
Thanksgiving is a challenge, let’s set the memo straight. Because I would be lying if I said it was a breeze. But I have practiced these strategies during the holidays and it makes it that much easier to enjoy the night.
Today I will be sharing with you my top tricks for smashing Thanksgiving with or without a diet.
Eat On A Smaller Plate - When you eat on a smaller plate it forces you to have smaller portion sizes. And we aren’t kidding here with the rumors and known facts that Thanksgiving usually comes with triple the serving sizes. Shrinking the plate you are eating off of will help the plate look full quickly, therefore, you add less items to it.
Carry A Conversation - Thanksgiving is the perfect time to gather around the table and catch up with those you haven’t seen in forever. Having and being engaged in a conversation will force you to slow down on your eating. This will ultimately allow your stomach to send you the hunger cues of either “still hungry” or “I’m full” signs. You will have an easier time recognizing those cues when eating with a slower pace. Plus, you get to make memories along the way.
Save Room For Dessert - Is it just me or do Holidays always come with the best #DESSERTS ? Maybe it’s where everyone saves up the most delicious recipes for this time of year. Regardless of what the deal is, there will most likely be desserts. Therefore, be sure to save room for dessert if that is on the agenda to consume. Otherwise enjoy dinner and a couple hours later when the stomach might start rumbling again then go in for desserts and utilize the tactics of #1 & #2. I remember one year, I actually had dessert first as an appetizer then my meal, that was absolutely a dream come true in the eyes of a kid. Let's be honest though, somehow rules comes up with these holiday traditions and order of digestion seems to be one so not every family might be in favor of that idea.
Go In With A Game Plan - I think this is the second most important tip that I can share. I say this because if you have a game plan, it makes it so much easier to follow. For instance, I make sure I know what is being served for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I then make sure to consume breakfast before the long day of food prepping. I create a game plan of what I want for dinner, dessert, and seconds (which is several hours later - I seriously eat every 2-3 hours, it’s a blessing for holidays!). I then make two different dishes - one for the main dish and another spread for the second meal. If there are more foods that I want to try, I am sure to take a plate to go for leftovers (because I don’t know of a #thanksgivingdinner that didn’t have leftovers). This spreads out all of the deliciousness, you don’t get bored of the food, and your digestive tract isn’t hating you.
Exercise At Least 20-30 Minutes - The best thing that you can do is to exercise. Go for a walk after you eat to help move things around. I remember when I was young we used to watch the football game and at half time all of us kids would go and play football in the street (times have changed, kids don't play in streets anymore but you get the point). This will help you feel not so bloated and doing the #turkeywobble Trust me! You will feel 10 times better if you go for a stroll after dinner than to sit on the couch and feel that tummy grumbling for the bathroom.
Following these steps will be extremely helpful for Thanksgiving and the next day. You will be able to carry out your activities rather than curled up next to the toilet or on the couch regretting the fourth serving of stuffing that you inhaled.
The holidays are meant for memories made together, not to stress about what you are going to eat or eating so much that you are bursting at the seems hating your stomach and choices.
These special events will be filled with foods and desserts. Without a doubt you should enjoy every last flavor but while being able to maintain a healthy relationship with food.
Gosh talking about this Thanksgiving feast is making me hungry to the max right now!
I truly hope that you are able to enjoy the holiday with your loved ones next to you. I hope that you can make memories that will last a lifetime and I hope that you are able to laugh, love, and carry on in health and wellness.
Until next time,
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