Yay! The holiday season is among us! Wait a minute. The holiday season is among us along with all of the delicious food that is so hard to resist!
How will we keep from putting on any extra pounds?
How will we gobble and not gain?
Isn’t it a privilege that for most of us it is our overabundance that creates a potential issue versus lack? Talk about first world problems.
We get to stuff ourselves silly on Thanksgiving and continue to graze our way to the coming winter holiday, while others scrape by on one meal per day, if that.
My message isn’t meant to make you feel guilty about your blessings or your level of success. It’s about your health and your choices.
Let’s Get Straight To It!
You’re a person, a very thoughtful and responsible person deserving of a healthy body that needn’t hide behind baggy pants and an ugly sweater this holiday season. You are capable of eating balanced meals. You can enjoy the holiday responsibly and with generosity.
You are not a turkey. Stuffing is for turkeys. You’re not a turkey intended to be filled to the brim with a delicious medley of carbohydrates. You can avoid feeling like a stuffed turkey with a little food for thought as you nibble your way to the next holiday meal.
Food For Thought #1
Why are you celebrating?
It is important to remember the purpose of the holiday.
Why do we gather around the table on the third Thursday of November to begin with?
We’re meant to be thankful for people and the things that we have in our lives. It’s a time when we can alter our view and notice that the things that we often take for granted are the things that matter most to us.
Once you’ve established the whole purpose of the holiday, then you can begin to set an intention for how you are going to show up as a person at your given Thanksgiving gathering.
Will you arrive with the intention to sit and scarf or will you be present and socialize to your heart’s content. I’m guessing you’d like to do the latter. Sure the food matters (it’s a special meal), but people matter far more.
Solid relationships lead to happiness and a fulfilling life. I’ve had some fall-off-your-seat meals in my day, but none of them tasted as good as being with the ones I love, felt and continues to feel in my heart.
Circle the room, chat, give good hugs, and distance yourself from the food. The leftovers will be there tomorrow, but your people may not be.
Food For Thought #2
Let’s say that you do want to eat all of the things because, “Hey, it’s only once a year!”?
Well you’re going to want to plan ahead for the extra calories you’re going to consume in order to maintain your weight. One thing that I like to coach nutrition clients to do is to prepare as much a week in advance, if they want to go hog wild on Thanksgiving.
Reducing your daily calorie intake by 200-300 per day for five days prior to the holiday can give you a buffer of 1,000-1,500 calories come Turkey Day.
Another thing that you can consider doing, is to simply eat lighter meals high in lean protein and vegetables prior to the main meal time. The thought behind this is that most traditional Thanksgiving foods are high in fat and carbohydrates, so it’s smart to save them for a later time in the day.
Notice that I said to eat light, not to starve all day. Fasting works for some, but for others it can lead to binge eating. Lastly, drink plenty of water, especially if you plan to drink alcoholic beverages. You’ll feel less “Black” and more sunshine on Friday by doing so.
Food For Thought #3
This one is so simple, yet we seldom do it. Take a moment to breathe and be present at the dinner table. Give thanks for your food, fill your plate mindfully and truly take the time to enjoy your meal.
Take small bites and chew your food well. Actually taste your food taking pleasure in each mouthful. Savor that buttery flavor and all of the holiday spices.
Lastly, stop when you are full. Honor your body’s cues that you’ve had your fill and carry on with the rest of the festivities.
Remember that you’re a happy and healthy person. You are not a turkey.
Stuffing is for turkeys.