Oh, Thanksgiving. How we love you. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, buttery rolls, and pies, pies, pies. It is arguably the most delicious holiday of the year...and the most caloric. Some of us consume more than 4500 calories in this one meal; that's 2-3 times the calories some of us need all day. In one meal. Did I say, in one meal?
So, how do we manage the start of the holiday season? We've listed a few strategies below. Take one or two that resonate with YOU, and try those.
1. Don't skip meals, If your strategy is to skip meals in favor of a gigantic meal later, think again. You'll be much less likely to overindulge if you have something in your belly. Even if it's something small, like carrots and hummus or a green salad - that fiber will help curb your appetite...AND get your veggies in.
2. Don't skip exercise. If you have a regular exercise routine, keep those classes or that run scheduled. Exercise offers obvious and important benefits - weight management, heart health, and stress reduction. If you don't have a regular exercise routine, make it a new tradition to take a walk before and/or after the big meal with your family. My family loves hitting up Great Falls Park Thanksgiving morning.
3. Bring your own dish. If you're a guest in someone's home, bring a healthy dish that you love. Your favorite salad? Steamed green beans? A new farro stuffing? Whatever it is, give yourself a healthy option at the table.
4. Check out the buffet before filling your plate. It's amazing how your plate can change by taking 10 seconds to look at what's available before you start filling your plate. You might skip the rolls in favor of more of your aunt's Brussels sprouts if you know they're available further down the line. And don't forget about MyPlate - fill half your plate with vegetables and fruits!
5. Be careful with beverages. Alcohol can lessen inhibitions and induce overeating. And non-alcoholic beverages can be full of calories and sugar. So, be mindful of your options, an opt to eat (rather than drink) more of your calories.
6. Eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed. This doesn't mean restricting your favorite foods. Do you love pumpkin pie? Then by all means, HAVE A PIECE! But savor it, respect your satiety cues and stop when satisfied.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!