Six Easy Tips to Enjoy Thanksgiving Without Derailing Your Diet

 In Healthy Eating, Weight Management

Thanksgiving.

Turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie. Followed by a bit of football, if weather permits, and if you’re able to keep  your pants done up.

If you’ve been on track with your weight loss, holiday dinners can send chills up your spine. They can make you nervous to eat. They might even make you nervous to lose all sense of self-control with salads done 6 ways to Sunday – salads being an operative word of course since they all call for jello or marshmallows.

But seriously – there is so much you CAN do to keep your healthy eating on track, through any holiday occasion!

Six Easy Tips to Enjoy Thanksgiving Without Derailing Your Diet

  1. Eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full
    It seems like a simple concept, really, but it takes patience and practice. My Be Your Own Nutrition Expert E-course goes into wonderful detail on how to do this SO effectively, you’ll never overeat again, but today you get the cliff notes version. NEVER attend a big dinner starving. You’re literally setting yourself up for failure. You’ll be SO hungry by the time they’re done carving the turkey, that you’ll do what I so famously call ‘black out eating’. Always one for drama, blackout eating does not actually involve you blacking out. BUT! Your SO hungry, and consume food SO quickly, that your hormones are literally left in the dark and aren’t given enough of a chance to respond and say ‘hey, we’ve gotten enough food here, your body is good, it doesn’t need anymore.’ By attending only mildly hungry, you can actually sit down and enjoy how good the food looks. Take the time to smell how delicious each of the dishes is. Actually taste each bite as you eat, savouring all the flavours. Enjoying what your eating properly lets your body tell you when its full. Which moves me to my next point – stop when your full. Not bursting at the pant-seams full. Not undo your top button kind of full. Not slip into a turkey-coma kind of full. The full when your body genuinely feels it has had enough. I find a TON of people over eat because they have trained their mind to think that the food is never coming back – that this is their ‘once chance’ to get to enjoy their cheat meal, their once yearly ambrosia salad, their extra helping of stuffing, or whatever you might have. Once you remove this type of thought from your mind, knowing that you can enjoy that food whenever you’d like – later in the evening, tomorrow for leftovers, etc. you can be liberated from thinking you need to get as much as you can in as quickly as you can, and to the point of excess!
    I know I use the word ‘full’ – but what I really mean is satisfied. Eat until your just past the point of no longer hungry. When you’re hungry again, you can eat again! It’s simple.

    By TRUSTING your body to regulate your intake, you’re much more likely to avoid taking in excess calories. 
    Now. This is a thing of practice, so get to it asap so you can be an expert at it by Thanksgiving!If you’re looking for a more in-depth approach to this over-arching concept, I STRONGLY recommend you check out Be Your Own Nutrition Expert – I feel like the in-depth info covered in the course on this information alone is worth the entire investment of the course!
  2. Portions, portions, portions
    I know, I know, the healthy plate method can be a bit tired. But really and truly, if you stick to one 9 inch dinner plate, and make HALF your plate vegetables (peas, carrots, brussels sprouts etc), a quarter of your plate meat (turkey in my house, but I know some people are ham people!) and a quarter of your plate starches (potatoes, buns) then you can’t go wrong. While I’m sure you might be consuming things a bit higher in fat than usual, portion control is going to go A LONG way to make sure you don’t derail your healthy eating.
  3. The Condiment Conundrum
    Half a cup of gravy is appropriate NEVER. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. It’s just another play on portion distortion. But! You can still have your gravy, and eat it to! Just within reason. Keep condiments to no more than 3 Tbsp. This includes gravy, cranberry sauce, etc. They have a TON of flavour ‘bang for your buck’, and a little can go a long way! By controlling your condiments, you could be saving yourself tons of calories, not to mention the inevitable tummy ache after dinner.
  4. Dessert, please!
    Dessert CAN fit! Within a reasonable portion size. If you’re feeling full, but are wanting dessert, consider asking for half a slice of pie, or sharing with a family member. A few bites can satisfy your sweet tooth without going overboard. Omitting or cutting back on the whipped cream or ice-cream is another calorie-saving option as well. There are also a TON of recipes on the internet for crustless pumpkin pie, or other healthy alternatives so you can have your pumpkin-fix without going over board! I’m looking forward to sharing my favourite recipe next week!
  5. Include Exercise in Your Family Tradition
    Weather permitting (or sometimes not) our family loves to go out and throw the football around after thanksgiving dinner. All the leaves look beautiful, and it helps to get the digestion process going, along with burning a few calories along the way. Football not your thing? A walk is just as good! It’s a great way to break up dinner and  dessert, allowing time for digestion and developing that ‘hungry feeling’ again, while getting some exercise! Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be a sedentary holiday!
  6. Offer to Bring A Healthy Dish
    I often times bring a healthy dessert or side dish, knowing that I can fill my plate with something I know is healthy while still enjoying a few of the classic holiday foods. Once of my FAVOURITE recipes I’m going to review on the blog later this week as I prepare it for Thanksgiving dinner. I’m not going to spoil it by telling you what it is now! Other ideas are bringing sweet potatoes, roasted brussels sprouts, green beans Six Easy Tips to Enjoy Thanksgiving Without Derailing Your Diet, just to name a few!

There you have it – with these six tips, I’m certain you will keep your holiday healthy eating ON TRACK. It is Fall after all, and we know that Christmas is just around the corner after Thanksgiving! If you’re looking to throw in the diet towel WHILE continuing to lose weight, you HAVE to check out my E-course: Be Your Own Nutrition Expert: The Common Sense Guide to Weight Loss. It’s the perfect pre-christmas nutrition course to have you set up for weight loss success well into the New Year! Get it BEFORE October 16th and save $70!

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