For many of us, Thanksgiving is one of those days that is built entirely around food. As many of you know, before following my passion of health, wellness, fitness and self care I was a caterer and as much as food ALWAYS mattered so did health and wellness.
For years, I was militant on everything that I ate or wouldn’t eat. Fortunately, through education and life experiences I have allowed myself to get off the diet mentality and feel significantly better both physically and mentally through healthy choices.
What I will share are the TOP dieting tips to manage Thanksgiving and diet WITHOUT dieting. What’s great is that you can apply all these healthy habits and choices to your everyday!
Thanksgiving Day Dieting Tips: A New Approach
- Start the day thinking that it’s not WHAT you eat but HOW you eat. Eating slowly and eating to full and not stuffed are actually MORE important than what you choose to eat. Both of these skills will limit the quantity of food you eat even if it’s a piece of pecan pie! These skills allow your body to tell you when you have had ENOUGH! Even if you have a plate full of food.
- If you normally exercise, try to stick to your schedule. At the very least, plan a family walk, do your best to add movement into your day
- If you don’t typically exercise, today is a GREAT day to add some extra steps. Grab the kids or whoever you are sharing your meal with and create a new tradition, go for a walk! There is no right or best time, see where it can fit in!
- If you are cooking, avoid the BLT’s, Bites, Licks and Tastes as much as you can. As a cook, I know it can’t be avoided, but the size of those BLT’s makes a difference. While cooking, brush your teeth, chew gum, have a mint or drink water. It does make a difference!
- Eat your normal meals, try to avoid going into the main meal STARVING! Starving limits one’s ability to make the best choices.
- When it’s cocktail time, drink a glass of water in your favorite drink glass of choice. Sometimes just the feel of the “right” glass makes a difference. You can also alternate between water and your drink of choice. Beer and wine are typically less caloric than mixed fruity drinks
- If you are offering hors d’oeuvres, keep those on the lighter side. Shrimp cocktail, hummus or guacamole with veggies. If cheese is a must, add apple or pear slices and fresh berries. Look for crackers that have the least amount of ingredients.
- Use smaller plates when serving the main meal. Your guests may actually thank you!
- Put your fork and knife down between bites
- Drink water in between bites
- Look at ALL your choices before you fill your plate. Fill it first with fresh vegetables and lean protein and then add the carbs and extra’s in moderation. If you want to enjoy the specialty foods you have once a year, avoid your standard indulgences.
- When you start to feel full, cover your plate with a napkin or over salt and pepper the remaining food to avoid the mindset of finishing what’s on your plate.
- Add fruit as one of the dessert choices
BONUS TIP, GRATITUDE: Before your meal, have everyone take a minute and share what they are most great full for, as it sets a tone of warmth, love and togetherness.
Here are a few “FOOD SWAPS” that you may find helpful: