Tomorrow, Thanksgiving, is the big day, and Friday is the regrets day. Why do people stuff themselves on Thanksgiving? Why do they eat to the point that it actually hurts, or worse, the food comes up the same route it went down? Why do people eat so much that they have to let out a notch or two in their belt? Why do some look on it as a contest to see how much they can eat? The typical American consumes at least 3000 calories on Thanksgiving. For those of us who are trying to eat healthy, that is three days’ worth of calories for some who are on restricted diets.
Thanksgiving is really just another 24 hours, like today. It is another day when ANY of the food you eat on Thanksgiving will be available on every other day of the year. Really, it will be! It is not like the food is going to be your last meal (well, technically, it could be, but we will assume it isn’t). People just do not pay attention to what they are eating on that day—the social setting and excitement of the day are absorbing their attention, and the food actually becomes secondary to the whole event when it comes to tasting the meal. When we do not take time to enjoy the food—really taste it by chewing it thoroughly–we miss out on the pleasure in dining.
So, what can you do to prevent the ‘regrets’ day, from feeling awful, ending the day wondering what happened? Here are some tips to help you enjoy Thanksgiving without any of the painful aftereffects:
1. DRINK WATER: Drink lots of water today and tomorrow, and make it a full glass before you sit down to the big meal. It will help give you a ‘full’ feeling without any of the bad effects from stuffing yourself with food. Limit yourself to one drink–a glass of wine, for example.
2. BE VERY CHOOSY: Whether the meal is family-style or a buffet, be choosy in what you eat. Do not put food on your plate that you like only so-so. You do not have to take a serving of everything on the table or in the buffet line. If there is a dessert you see that you just have to have, consider a much smaller serving of dressing or cutting down on the gravy, and then eat only half a dessert. If there are many desserts, pick a couple and just eat a couple of bites from them. It is that first bite, anyway, that holds the prize in taste. In short, choose quality over quantity.
3. PORTION SIZE: It boils down to portion size in your choices and using common sense. A portion of turkey is three ounces—which is a lot of turkey, actually. If you are putting on your plate any food that exceeds the size of your palm, you are putting on too much. If your plate is stacked 2-3 inches high, you have too much food on your plate. If you can’t even see all the food you have heaped on your plate, then you have too much on your plate. This is a no-brainer, folks. If your plate looks like it could feed three people, believe that it can.
4.COMPARTMENTALIZED EATING: Start out with your appetizer or salad. Only take enough food that you know you will eat and not waste. Eat very slowly. In fact, stretch that salad eating to 20 minutes, so your brain can register that you have food in your stomach. Then, go back for your main entrée. Again, take only the amount you will eat and not waste. Finally, get your dessert. Between bites for everything you eat, put down the fork. Chew until the entire mouthful is gone (in short, don’t be swallowing food that is not thoroughly chewed).
5.EXERCISE: No one can say enough about the benefits of exercise. Of course, holidays and vacations sometime put a crimp in exercise plans, primarily because we do NOT plan our days to include exercise. This Thanksgiving be conscious of your free time on this day. Wake up 30 minutes earlier and exercise. Not a morning person? Then get in a half hour of walking before you go eat. After you have had the main course, go walking for a half hour before you eat your dessert. If you are not in someone’s house, making the walking perhaps not practicable, then do it when you get home. There are days when this weight watcher can be found on the treadmill at 10 pm, because the day got away. Whatever you do, be sure to schedule some exercise tomorrow.
With a little mindfulness, you can make this Thanksgiving a day when you gain no weight, and you wake up the next day feeling great because you did not succumb to stuffing yourself. Check out my article link below on “Don’t Go Overboard on Thanksgiving.”
On this Thanksgiving, we all have a lot to be thankful for. Besides my family, friends, and good life, I am thankful for the opportunity to share my thoughts on weight loss and healthy living with you, and hope you enjoy the articles as much as I have fun writing them. If you have any topics you would like to see covered, send me an email. If it is important to you, it is likely important to others who are trying to lose weight, too.
FOR THOSE IN ALBUQUERQUE: The Weight Watchers (R) location at Montgomery and Tramway is relocating to the strip center at Paseo Del Norte NE between Barstow and Ventura. The opening date is now scheduled for December.