How to Enjoy Thanksgiving Without Overindulging

How to Enjoy Thanksgiving without Overindulging

It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is just a few days away. Where did 2015 go? My Thanksgiving is going to be very different this year. I will be enjoying Thanksgiving from Phantom Ranch in the Grand Canyon! How many people get to say that? Not too many, I’m sure.

There will be turkey and pumpkin pie, but I won’t be faced with all the normal Thanksgiving temptations.

For most people who are trying to maintain a specific diet or lose weight, the holidays can be an especially difficult time. You are surrounded by tons of rich foods, delicious desserts, wine and other special treats. You are with family and friends, having a good time, and before you know it you’ve eaten way more than you wanted to. How does anyone survive without putting on a few pounds?

It is entirely possible to enjoy Thanksgiving without overindulging. Who really wants to be so uncomfortably full they need to unzip their pants, anyway?

Here are a few tips to help you navigate Thanksgiving Day in a happy healthy fit way.

Get Moving First Thing Thanksgiving Morning

Thanksgiving is busy. We all know that. If you jump straight into preparing food and running around like a crazy person trying to get things done you will probably neglect getting in a bit of exercise. Whether you go for a brisk walk alone or sign up for a Turkey Trot with the entire family, make movement a priority.

30 minutes of exercise will put you on the right track and you’ll feel better {and less guilty if you eat more than you want!} the rest of the day.

Set your Intentions

Take a few minutes for yourself before everyone arrives to set your intentions for the day. Remember what your health and fitness goals are, and the hard work you have put in to get where you are. Decide what you are willing to “spend calories” on ahead of time. That way when tempted you can say “no, I’m saving my calories to XYZ”.

Eat Breakfast

That seems pretty straight forward, but if you are busy you may forget. Eating breakfast, especially one high in protein, will keep you full and you won’t feel starved by the time Thanksgiving dinner is served. You will have more willpower and you will set yourself up for success by eating breakfast.

Imagine Your Thanksgiving Meal as a Series of Grocery Store Samples

For many families, Thanksgiving dinner is a huge buffet of savory, high calorie, tasty foods. Instead of depriving yourself be intentional with your eating. If you look at the lineup and think “I want to try everything”– that’s totally fine. But, instead of gorging on every single dish, take a small sample {think grocery store sample size}. This way you get to treat yourself and enjoy all the food without feeling like you will explode.

Same goes for the desserts. Don’t eat an entire piece of pie if you plan on eating other desserts as well. Share with someone. Or request that guests bring bite-sized desserts.

Eat Slowly and Drink Plenty of Water

It takes 20 minutes for the brain to get the message that your body is full. Eating slowly will allow time for your brain and body to get on the same page.  A lot of the time we mistake thirst for hunger. Drinking plenty of water will also help keep you full so you don’t over indulge.

Get Moving Again!

Instead of plopping down on the couch in the living room to watch football, go outside and toss the football around. Or go for another quick walk with everyone.

Remember Portion Control Applies to Beverages

If savory beverages, wine or beer are part of your Thanksgiving tradition remember that liquid calories are still calories. Enjoy a drink or two, but then switch to water. For a fancier beverage option try using sparkling water and fruit served in wine glasses.

While we all strive to stick to our healthy lifestyle during the holidays it is important to remember what the holidays are all about. Don’t beat yourself up if you overindulge. Be thankful for the food and time with family, then promise yourself you’ll get back on track the next day.

Your turn! Do you struggle with indulging during the holidays? What is your plan of attack to make it through Thanksgiving without overindulging?

♥amanda maureen


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