DON’T STARVE YOURSELF ALL DAY FOR A DINNER BUFFET
When you skip meals, your metabolism slows down. Then, when you do eat that gigantic meal, more will be stored than burned! Instead of starving yourself the entire day, start your day off the way you usually do, with your healthy breakfast and then have some lunch later. Make sure you include carbs with your breakfast and lunch. This way, when you get to dinner, you will be less hungry, and can focus on eating the healthier parts of the meal, instead of gorging on the starches.
LOAD UP ON MEAT AND VEGETABLES, EAT STUFFING SPARINGLY
Try to fill your plate with more meat and vegetables. Eat less of the starches and high fat foods, such as green bean casseroles (prepared with cream of mushroom soup), mashed potatoes (that may be made with butter and milk), and candied yams (loaded with cream, sugar and marshmallows). Moderation or abstaining altogether is key when you can’t control the ingredients that go into a dish. There’s nothing wrong with saying you don’t want any!
EAT SKINLESS TURKEY
Cutting the skin off will slash away enough fat to allow you to substitute some side dishes and desserts in its place! Think about that, and I’m sure you’d rather have a small bowl of ice cream than a helping of dead turkey skin.
DRINK MORE WATER, LESS COFFEE AND/OR ALCOHOL
In addition to filling you up a little more with your meal, drinking water will ensure that you stay hydrated, and flush out some of that excess sodium that you eat. If you’re going to drink alcohol, opt for red wine (which has antioxidants in it) over mixed drinks like margaritas, which are full of empty calories and do nothing for you except leave you sluggish!
Eating slower, taking smaller bites, and putting your utensils down in between bites will ensure that your body lets you know when it is full, rather than letting you over stuff yourself too early on. Savor each mouthful of delicious food, and be thankful and mindful of the time spent with your friends and loved ones.
Remember that Thanksgiving is a time to be with your friends and loved ones! Be thankful for that, and spend more time making conversation, rather than eating a ton of food. It will also allow you to eat slower as well and really enjoy their presence, rather than drown yourself in your plate and ignore the celebration.
STRIVE FOR WEIGHT “MAINTENANCE”, RATHER THAN WEIGHT LOSS
Keep in mind that during Thanksgiving, weight loss should not be a major priority, but rather weight maintenance. It is, after all, a time to celebrate and socialize, so that should take precedence over being so strict that you don’t enjoy yourself and bring down the morale of the group because of it! You’ll be way ahead of the game if you can avoid gaining weight during the holidays when everyone else packs on five to ten pounds! You’ll look and feel better in the days that follow, and will be happier because of it!
USE A RATING SYSTEM FOR FOODS IN ORDER TO MAKE CHOICES
As the foods are being passed around, use a 1-10 scale to judge how appealing a certain food is to you. If you really want a food, it gets a 10. If it doesn’t look that appealing, give it a lower rating. You’ll be surprised how many times you put a food on your plate that you really don’t want, and wind up eating it unnecessarily. As I said before, it’s OK to say no!
BEGIN BY EATING SALAD FIRST
If you start with a salad, you will fill yourself up a little bit more with something nutritious. Try to stay away from creamy dressings and toppings that are unnecessary. Opt for lighter dressings and things like balsamic vinegar, or oil and vinegar if possible.
SKIP THE PIE CRUST, AND JUST CHOOSE ONE SERVING OF PIE
When eating pie, eat the filling part and leave the crust, to save on some empty calories. A lot of times during a Thanksgiving dinner, multiple types of cakes or pies are offered. The piece of pie that you want most will be the one that you choose. If you cannot choose just one piece, wait a little while and come back, before you take three or four pieces of cake that will up your caloric intake by 1000 or more.