For anyone trying to lose or maintain their weight, the holidays can be a tricky time. In particular Thanksgiving.
Striking a balance between enjoying yourself and staying on track can be challenging but not impossible.
Follow these smart guidelines to ensure you make the most of your day without going overboard.
1. DON’T SKIP MEALS
It’s not uncommon for people to want to skip meals earlier in the day to ‘save up’ for the Thanksgiving feast. This tactic, however, usually backfires. By the time you sit down to eat, your blood sugar has dropped, and you are ravenously hungry, making it very hard not to overeat. Instead, start your day, like any other, with balanced meals leading up to the main course.
2. PLAN FOR HEALTHY SNACKS
If you want to avoid snacking as you cook create a small space on your counter or in your refrigerator with healthful, satisfying and filling foods to snack on. Pick things you really enjoy, and that are not triggers leading you to overindulge. Greek yogurt ranch dip served with raw veggies, or tuna cucumber cups are just a few ideas.
3. MAKE A BALANCED PLATE
Much of the food at Thanksgiving revolves around sugary sweet desserts, high-fat, high sodium entrees with creamy sauces and loads of processed snacks, being conscious about building a balanced plate can help you feel satisfied at the end of the meal without feeling overstuffed.
Ladies don't exceed a palm size serving of both a protein and a starch the rest of your plate should be filled with a green salad and veggies. Men, do slightly more than a palm size serving, and again using the rest of you plate to have a green salad and veggies.
Those greens are high in fiber and will help in keeping you full.
4. EAT SLOWLY WHILE SITTING DOWN
Research shows people tend to overeat when they’re standing or eating quickly.
It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to recognize that you are full. Slow down and enjoy the company you’re with. Regularly practicing mindful eating cannot only make the experience of eating more enjoyable, but it can also help you lose weight long term.
5. ALCOHOL CAN WAIT
Alcohol lowers our inhibitions and can lead us to making bad food choices. Consider making a virgin cocktail instead.
Thanksgiving is not just about gorging on delicious food. It's a time to celebrate our relationships with those close to us.
Rather than obsess over the food, focus your attention on the celebration, sounds, and people at the event; while catching up with family and friends.
7. MAKE TIME TO MOVE
Set aside time to be active on the big day. While it can be tempting to nap right after you eat, going for a walk outdoors, even for just 20 minutes, can help with digestion and even help lower blood sugar.
But don't let the thought of that exercise later fool you into thinking you have room to eat more. Stick to the game plan!
8.. REWARD YOURSELF
At the end of it all if you've done well reward yourself with dessert.
If you're afraid dessert will send you off the deep end choose a non food reward like buying yourself some new running shoes or booking an appointment for a tattoo that compliments your journey.
Stay true to your cause, and you may find that you not only prevented weight gain but lost weight during this celebratory season.
Wouldn't that be nice?!