Let’s face it, overeating at Thanksgiving is a Tradition. Going back and eating more leftovers even though you are totally full is another is common place. Well then, we get up the following morning and step on the scale and scream…what????. We may even face a different challenge where we feel bloated, uncomfortable, or pain in the gut (stomach) as a result of overloading our body with too many calories.
Having a plan in hand and keeping an open mind can keep all the stress in check.
Here are some tips to combat this REAL pain in the gut during thanksgiving and the festive seasons:
HAVE A PLAN IN PLACE
Whether you are hosting or visiting with families, have a plan for yourself on how much food you want to eat, and what types of food you would like to eat. If you are visiting with friends or family and you already know that the foods that you would prefer to eat may not be there, plan on preparing and taking your preferred foods to the gathering to share with everyone and have it available for yourself.
CLARIFY “WHY” YOU ARE EATING
When you are serving yourself, try and have that inner dialogue within yourself. Are you trying to maximize your caloric intake? Are you eating to satisfy hunger? Are you just trying to sample everything or just have a taste? Identifying why you are serving that food item to yourself will help you to determine the portion size that you put on your plate.
USE A SMALLER PLATE
It is true that if you use a smaller plate, you will very likely eat less. And try to resist the temptation to go back for second helpings. It takes about 20 minutes from the time that you start eating for your brain to send out the signal that you are full. If you must go for seconds, wait for about twenty minutes.
Put your fork down between bites. Savor and taste each bite of food to enjoy your meal, feel satisfied and enhance the dining experience.
CHOOSE YOUR SERVINGS WISELY
Choose whole grains, fruits, vegetables, broth-based soups, salads, and other foods with lots of water and fiber to enhance the feeling of fullness and minimize intake of empty calories.
AVOID MINDLESS NIBBLING
Sometimes it’s the foods and snacks that we nibble mindlessly that takes us over the top. You start off with just tasting one cookie or candy, before you know it, you are eating the fourth piece of cookie or fourth candy without even remembering when you ate the second or third piece.
Mindfulness is a state of present time awareness that allows us to be present in our actions, thoughts, feelings and sensations. Stay mindful in your actions.
FOCUS ON WHAT THANKSGIVING IS REALLY ABOUT – SPENDING QUALITY TIME WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS
I do know that for some people, this season can be a joyous or anxiety-inducing occasion depending on the family situation. And the reality is that we don’t have a manuscript or guidelines handed to us when we are born on how to live a peaceful, conflict free life. We are all raised and equipped with different survival and coping tools, and for the most part, everyone is trying to do the best they can with the tools they have. It is time to practice compassion, forgiveness and love.
CREATE HEALTHY BOUNDARIES
The healthiest and most loving thing that we can do for ourselves sometimes is to create healthy boundaries, when all else fails. Avoid toxic situations and toxic relationships. Remember that you can not change others, but you can change your self and your strategies.
Love yourself and your body because that is the only body you have!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!