Ah – the most wonderful time of the year is beginning! From Thanksgiving to Christmas the average person gains 7-10 pounds. Yikes!We tend to use special occasions as an excuse not just to overindulge but to binge. It’s your birthday (or the day after or the week of)? Cake for breakfast becomes perfectly reasonable. Halloween? A dozen mini chocolates? Totally acceptable (they’re mini after all, right?)!
The problem with this season is that there isn’t just the one special occasion here and there. Between the DAY of the holiday itself, there are numerous parties, work functions, and so on, and many days become a special occasion where we apply the “anything goes rule.”
So these are the top 5 things I want to you focus on this weekend for Thanksgiving:
Approach Thanksgiving with an abundance mindset – The truth is, there is nothing truly special about holiday meals aside from the people we share them with. We live in a first world country where the foods we want are at our fingertips 365 days per year. So, in reality, you could have Thanksgiving in part or in whole at any time. When you approach food with an abundance mindset, it’s a lot easier to practice holiday levels of moderation.
2. Expect, accept, and embrace over-indulgence – It would be completely unreasonable for me to sit and lecture you on not over-indulging. Especially because I’ll likely be doing it myself! A key is to approach the holiday without feeling guilty AND stick to the rule of eating to 80% full. The damage stress does and the way it affects hormonal balance (and ultimately how much body fat we have) is far worse than having one big meal – so go enjoy it guilt free and don’t stress! BUT don’t eat until you can hardly walk. Eat until you are 80% full meaning you are no longer hungry but you are not stuffed.
3. Fill your plate with protein and veggies first, then add tastes of all the other goodies – I’m totally ok with you overdoing these two food groups (see point above). But when you strategically fill your plate with the better stuff, you’re obviously going to be better off. Even a plate of broccoli isn’t good for you when you’re in caloric excess, BUT it’s going to take you much longer and with much more food to reach that point when you maintain focus on protein and veggies with smaller tastes of starchy carb-rich dishes and desserts.
4. Plan to move – whether you go for a hike with your family, get a hard strength workout, or simply take a 20 minute walk, vow to do something to get your body moving before the big meal! You’ll feel much better all day for it!
5. Splurge only once – A holiday is only one DAY…not an entire season, so this bit of advice is two-fold. Plan to splurge only on the actual DAY of the holiday (or whichever day you celebrate) and only once during that day. No need for a full breakfast, Thanksgiving meal, then another full plate of leftovers that evening. Sure, it tastes good, but you’ll feel completely miserable and be working to undo the damage for weeks to come!
So, there you have my top 5 Thanksgiving (or holiday in general) strategies! I promise if you apply these, you’ll be a lot less likely to end up in the category of people who gain weight over the holidays!
From our family to yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving!