Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of year to express gratitude, to spend time with family and friends and to indulge just a little in some of our favorite foods; but it is also a day on which a lot of people gorge on the overwhelming spread of food. So how do you enjoy Thanksgiving without over eating?
Every year at Thanksgiving, I start salivating way in advance of all the amazingly delicious foods I am going to get to eat. And every year in the past I had over eaten and ended up with that icky, bloated feeling that comes with stuffing way too much crap in your tummy when there's no more room--that is, until last year. I made up my mind that I was not going overboard, and would enjoy great food without over indulging. And it felt fantastic--physically, but also emotionally because I'd made a decision and stuck to it. That always feels fantastic, right?
So I know I'm not presenting revolutionary information here, but sometimes we just need a gentle reminding tug at what we already know, right? Here's how you can (and how I plan to) enjoy this Thanksgiving's meal without over eating:
Set boundaries. Decide ahead of time to only eat your favorite things, or not to go back for seconds or to skip the biscuits if you're going to eat pie. Whatever your limits are, set them in advance so that you have them in your head as you're filling your plate.
Don't skip breakfast, and have small healthy meals or snacks throughout the day. You are less likely to over eat if you are not starving once dinner time finally arrives.
Have smaller portions. You can certainly taste or try everything available--just have less of everything. Don't overfill your plate--add only what you know you can comfortably consume.
Eat slowly. It takes 15 minutes for your stomach to signal to your brain that it is full. Eating more slowly allows this process to happen before you have already bitten off more than you can chew, so to speak.
Drink water with your meal. Sipping water while eating will help you to feel fuller faster, and it is better for you than soda or sugar-laden juices.
Wait before eating dessert. Let your food digest a bit before you have any sweets, and only eat the one you really really want. Once dinner settles, you may even decide that you're already full and content not to have any.
Shift your focus. Thanksgiving has become so synonymous with "smorgasbord" that it is difficult not to zero in on the food. But--if you make your focus the quality time you're spending with your loved ones cooking, watching football, or catching up--suddenly the food aspect becomes just a pleasant side effect and not the main event.
Have you mastered the art of clean eating during the holidays? What are some of your tips and tricks?