Thanksgiving is the day everyone cheats on their diets. An array of food lines the dining table, and you don’t want anyone’s hard work going down the drain, so you eat everything. Then, the next day, you beat yourself up about it because you ate unhealthily. You don’t have to stuff yourself full every Thanksgiving, and here’s how.
- Drink lots of fluids (specifically water) to make you feel full faster. Before you even sit down at that table, make sure there is a beverage available that isn’t sweet tea, alcohol, or anything that isn’t water.
- Prepare your own plate. So you won’t feel guilty of not clearing your plate, prepare your own plate. That way, you can control the portion size. Make sure your portion sizes are small enough so that you don’t waste food. Of course, if you’re feeling hungry, you can always go back for more. You can’t just scrape the leftover food back in the pots, however. Less is more.
- Spark conversation. Maybe you eat more because you have nothing else to do. Try sparking conversation with your family. You can talk to them about their favorite TV shows, ask them how to build credit/buy a house, how they cooked a certain dish, or if you’re really up for a chatter fest, talk politics. That makes everyone riled up. Just make sure you’re respectful of other people’s opinions.
- Get your fruits and veggies in. You can still eat your turkey but instead of pairing it with peach cobbler, try going for fruits and vegetables. The benefits of plant-based foods are innumerable, and for some vegetables like carrots, you burn more calories eating them than actually consuming them, according to Livestrong.com. And no, macaroni and cheese is not a vegetable.
- Stop eating when you feel full. We’ve all done it before. For some reason when our bellies are protruding from our pants so much that unbuttoning is the only solution, we still stuff our faces. To prevent overeating, you first of all have to stop eating. Placing your fork and knife parallel and on your plate is a sign of etiquette telling everyone you’ve finished your meal. You can even mask your plate with your dirtied napkins to further dissuade you from eating.
- Stop worrying. If you’ve been craving Grandma’s rhubarb pie or Auntie’s cheesecake all year, then by all means eat. If you’re worried about gaining weight this Thanksgiving, scientifically, it’s a lot harder than it seems. According to Mayo Clinic, there are 3,500 calories in one pound of fat. That means, if you want to gain just one pound, you’d have to eat 3,500 calories extra to what you already consume. If you put these tips into play, it’s difficult to eat 3,500 calories extra. But if the temptation was just too much, don’t sweat it; you probably only gained at most 1 pound.
Thanksgiving is the day everyone cheats on their diets. But we’re all human. We most likely won’t eat clean 100 percent of the time. Instead of stressing over how fat you’re going to get after the feast, be thankful that you have been given another day to be with your family and eat edible and affordable food.