Giving thanks Healthily

By Adam Glasgow - 11/14/2016

What’s not to love about Thanksgiving!

It is a holiday with a message of peace and thankfulness….A holiday that values family and home…. A holiday when I can watch football…. A holiday where the stores are closed and we don’t have to worry about the material world.

Okay, so it’s also a holiday about one more thing:  Food.   

Don’t stress. Here are a few tips to help get you through and stay on track:

1.       Make yourself a plan ahead of time about what you will eat and how much, and what you will avoid. Writing it down on paper or on your phone will make it real and official. Having a plan will take the burden off making decisions on the spot.

2.       Read up on how many calories typical Thanksgiving foods have. When you see it in black & white, it is a big wake up call. For example, one cup of stuffing is about 360 calories – and that’s just one cup and it’s just the stuffing!

3.       Eat your proteins and vegetables first. Start with turkey (white meat has less calories), followed by green vegetables or salad. This should fill you up on the good stuff first.

4.       Don’t drink with your meal. If you can avoid drinking while you are eating, you will achieve a feeling of fullness more quickly.

5.       Avoid the carbs -- mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potatoes, corn bread, and rolls. If you decide you just have to try something then limit it to one small portion of one item. But be true to yourself – if you know you cannot limit yourself, don’t get started!

6.       Ask for help. This approach might not be for everyone but some people find it helpful to have someone to support them during a challenging meal. Think about whether something along these lines might work for you. You might ask a friend or family member to check in gently with you during the meal (“How you doing?”), or inform your entire family in advance that you will be eating limited portions. Think about what would be most helpful to you and make sure you are asking people who will know how to support rather than challenge you.

7.       Skip dessert or go for fruit. If you are“tasting” something else, at least skip the crust and whipped cream.

8.       Start your day with a brisk Fall walk. Burning some calories in advance will cut the sting of a day focused around food.

9.       I should probably wait until AFTER Thanksgiving to say this, but whatever happens, remember it is just one day. Do your best, and tomorrow will be another day. If things don’t go exactly as you hoped, pick yourself up and get back on your path.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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