7 Ways to Stop Eating Too Much This Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving, for many families, is all about the food – which can result in it being a challenging time for those trying to watch what they eat. Luckily, there are plenty of helpful tips and ideas on hand to help anyone who’s trying to lose or maintain their weight over Thanksgiving, so that you can stay on track and commit to your healthy eating regime. Here’s 7 ways you can stop eating too much over Thanksgiving )or any holiday, for that matter!).
1. Be Prepared On What To Skip And What To Enjoy
Planning ahead can be really beneficial when trying to cut down on food during the holidays. Plan what foods you’re going to allow yourself to indulge in – Thanksgiving happens only once a year and is a time in which family and friends can spend time together and celebrate, so don’t restrict yourself on absolutely everything.
Allow yourself one or two indulgences that you really look forward to each year, and you’ll be much less likely to binge on everything due to not being ‘allowed’ it. Likewise, be prepared in planning what foods you want to skip as a result of them not being worth the calories they carry. If pie isn’t your favourite, for example, arrange to have something healthier for that course, saving those calories for something you’re really going to enjoy and remember.
2. Don’t Skip Meals Leading Up To The Big Feast
Understanding the relationship between weight loss and calories is important when pursuing a healthy eating regime, as is understanding the way in which your body and appetite work. While it may feel tempting to eat nothing until the big Thanksgiving dinner, skipping meals can often lead you to overeat when you do eventually sit down for food.
This is because your blood sugar drops when you skip meals, resulting in an intense hunger that is likely to mean you’ll eat more than you ever intended to. Instead, eat well-balanced meals filled with greens and vegetables in the lead up to the big feast, as this will more likely result in you feeling fuller for longer.
3. Fit In Some Time To Get Active
While you’re unlikely to be doing cardio down the gym on the day of Thanksgiving, do try to fit in some time to be active. This can be easily achieved by going for a long family walk after the big meal, getting up just 15 minutes early for a quick yoga session, or going for a light jog once the food is prepared and you’re waiting to serve up.
Whatever the movement, no matter how small, getting active can not only help with digestion after consuming such rich foods, but can also help lower blood sugar and help aid weight loss.
If you’re starting to feel the strain of family commitments, a walk could be just the thing you need for that breath of fresh air!
4. Plan Your Snacks As Well As Your Meals
It can be easy to plan and prepare for the big, heavy meals during the holidays, but snacks and refreshments can often be the foods we eat too much of on the big day. Remember to plan your snacks as well as your meals, as you may start to feel peckish if you’re the one cooking and preparing dishes throughout the morning.
To prevent overindulging on the foods you want to avoid, fill your cupboards with healthy, filling and low-fat foods to snack on as and when you need to – these can include dehydrated fruits, fresh vegetables, Greek yoghurt or salads.
5. If Drinking Alcohol, Save It For The Dinner
If you’re celebrating with a drink over the holidays, it’s best to save it until you’re eating a big meal. Not only will this ensure you have a clear head when making your prepped and planned food choices, but it’ll also limit the number of calories you’ll be consuming from the alcohol – many of which can be surprising when you start adding them up.
Alcohol can also cause an increase in your sugar levels resulting in dips and spikes when drinking, so eating a filling and substantial meal while enjoying your tipple can help keep these increases and decreases to a minimum.
6. Eat Slowly and While Sitting Down
Eating slowly is a great tip to remember if you’re trying to shed a few pounds, and one you can implement every day – not just throughout the holidays. Research has shown that it can take approximately 20 minutes for our brains to recognise that we’re full of a meal, which is why many people who eat quickly often overeat.
If you find eating slowly a challenge, you could try to get in the practice of placing your fork down after each bite, resulting in you taking longer to finish. Sitting down while you eat will not only help aid weight loss but will also ensure you get to soak up more time with your loved ones on such a special day – so sit back and enjoy yourself.
7. Don’t Feel Guilty If You Overindulge
If you find that you do overeat and overindulge on the day, don’t feel guilty or shame yourself for it. Try to remember that it’s just one day, it’s happened, and it’s time to move on tomorrow and make better informed choices and decisions.
Criticising yourself over what you have or haven’t eaten won’t help or change what’s been done, and if anything will increase the chances of you doing the same thing the next day due to feeling unmotivated and disheartened. Instead, get straight back on track with your eating regime and remind yourself that you’re only human, and your best is all you can do. Happy holidays!