Thanksgiving is a time for celebration, fun, and most of all, eating. For those of us trying to lose weight this year, Thanksgiving can often throw us off track. It’s not as simple as saying no to food on regular days.
This holiday season is specifically designed to encourage eating and making happy memories around the dinner table. It can almost feel like having the deck of cards stacked against you. You know what you should do, but you also want to take part in the festivities. We’ve got you covered, here are 7 steps to avoid overeating on Thanksgiving:
- Use a smaller plate size
- Don’t skip meals the morning of
- Focus on making memories other than just around the dinner table
- Plan and limit sweets
- Eat slow and try to let your food settle before getting seconds
- Try to get moving before or after eating
- Focus on what you can control, not on others
Use a smaller plate size
Using a smaller plate size allows you to still eat some unhealthy foods, but not overdo it. Instead of buying large buffet style plastic plates, grab some smaller ones. Eat slowly and allow the food to settle in your stomach.
You still get to taste all the foods and enjoy everyone’s cooking, but you’ll avoid overeating on Thanksgiving. If you really want to go the extra mile, try making some vegetarian Thanksgiving options for you and your family.
Don’t skip meals the morning of
Some people avoid eating breakfast or lunch to “save up” for a big Thanksgiving dinner. Unfortunately, you may be setting yourself up for a binge eating session. Everyone has had an extra plate at the holidays. However, binge eating can be very unhealthy.
If you are on a weight loss program or you are trying to stick to more healthy eating, consider sticking with your normal routine. Sticking to your routine will keep you feel fuller for longer, and make it easier for you to turn down that extra slice of cake.
Focus on making memories other than just around the dinner table
As stated above, Thanksgiving is a holiday intricately linked to eating lots of food and making memories. That doesn’t mean it has to stay that way. To take your mind off food, try planning other fun activities to do at home.
- Family board games
- Family scavenger hunt
- A long game of hide and go seek
- Family photos
- Watching a local football game
- Making arts & crafts
- And much more.
If you are really adventurous, try something like what this family did. Although this is aimed at Christmas, you definitely put your own spin on it to help avoid overeating on Thanksgiving.
Plan and limit sweets
While selecting your food, plan what you will and won’t have for dessert. Then stick to it. If you create a plan beforehand, you are much more likely to stick to it. Also, if you fail that plan, don’t beat yourself up over it. Move on. Focus on doing better in the future.
Your weight loss journey will be built on a thousand little steps going forward and backward. The hardest part is letting go of mistakes and moving past them!
Eat slow and try to let your food settle before getting seconds
This was mentioned earlier, but we think it bears repeating. Food takes time to digest, and because of this, when we eat fast we tend to eat more. To avoid overeating on Thanksgiving, give your food time to settle. Eat slowly, and plan on talking to your relatives and while sitting around the dinner table.
You may find that you feel much fuller than you thought you would at a much quicker pace when you eat slowly.
Try to get moving before or after eating
Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean you can’t work out. In fact, Thanksgiving is the perfect time to start exercising. Even if you don’t want to work out, trying doing family activities that will get you moving such as outdoor games, family cleaning, or taking a family walk in nature.
Focus on what you can control not on others
The holidays can be stressful times, which can lead to emotional eating. A rude or judgmental family member may cause you to overeat to cope with the stress. Recognize when this is happening and find positive ways to channel your stress. Find ways to take your mind off the person that is bothering you. Keep your focus on what you can control and not others’ actions.
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