I thought I’d share seven Thanksgiving tips so you don’t tip the scale come January.
The problem with over indulging this week is that it doesn’t stop! Approximately 75% of annual weight gain occurs between October and January. These holiday months tempt us with all sorts of rich meals, desserts, snacks and beverages. Once we let our guard down, we throw it all to the wind and give up all restraint until January 1st.
Here are seven simple tips to help you keep things in check this week.
Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Drinking too much right before, during or after meal times it can dilute our stomach acid and make it harder for our bodies to break our food down. Pace yourself throughout the rest of the day so you are hydrating well.
Serve meals restaurant-style.
Rather than placing all the food on the table, leave it in the kitchen. Let everyone dish up and bring plates to the table. By removing multiple casseroles, rich dishes and platters of food from the table you reduce overall food intake.
Don’t wolf down your food. When you do sit and eat, remember to eat slowly and chew well. Taste each bite. Enjoy the texture. Pace yourself. This is the enjoyment in eating. Eating mindfully and slowly will also help you to eat less because you are really being present and enjoying the moment.
Wait before getting seconds.
After you’ve cleaned your plate, rest a few minutes, enjoy conversation. Wait then decide if you really need seconds. It takes about 20 minutes for your body to register how full it is and send that message to your brain. Studies show you are less likely to reach for seconds when food is out of sight – another reason to leave it in the kitchen.
Just say ‘No.’
Many times we feel forced or pressured into eating foods because people keep offering it. Relatives may encourage you to overeat by shoving seconds onto your plate. It is okay to respectfully decline. Practice saying these statements so you are ready:
- “I’m full.”
- “I couldn’t eat another bite. Everything tasted wonderful.”
- “I’m taking a break.”
- “I’m resting a minute to see how full I am.”
- “No, thank you, I’ve had enough. Everything was delicious.”
Take-n-Toss Or Freeze It.
Before guests leave, load up some take-n-toss containers for friends and family to hand out as they leave (especially the items you are tempted by, like leftover pie). If you do end up with loads of leftovers, pack up extras and store them in the freezer for later.
This time of year we should take a moment to slow down, take a break and reflect on those things for which we are most grateful. Studies show that by regularly practicing gratitude, you can increase your over level of contentment. Feeling more content can help prevent you from turning to food for comfort which leads to over indulging. Take a few moments over this Thanksgiving week to pause and reflect on the goodness in your life. Say a prayer and thank God for who He is, and for the friends, family, freedoms and blessings we enjoy in this country!
Finally, your willpower this week will pay off come January 1st when you’ve warded off the extra holiday weight by keeping your willpower muscle toned!