If there’s any holiday that revolves around food, it’s Thanksgiving. Each year, millions of Americans gather with family and friends to celebrate the holiday. In many instances, the Thanksgiving meal is a central part of the get-together.
While any social eating occasion can make healthy eating challenging, Thanksgiving is especially challenging because of the significant focus on food. Here are five traps to look out for when thinking about your eating habits over the holiday weekend.
It’s Not All About Dinner
First, don’t make it all about Thanksgiving dinner. Most of us tend to fixate on the one big meal on Thursday evening. Keep in mind that Thanksgiving festivities end up lasting all throughout the weekend – and so do the leftovers.
Don’t fret that you won’t get seconds of that great meal. Instead, enjoy a reasonable portion at Thanksgiving and then plan to enjoy leftovers the next day in a sandwich or tasty soup. Giving yourself this permission will take the pressure off, making the most of a single meal.
Don’t Wait Until the Big Meal to Eat
The next mistake people make is going into the main meal on an empty stomach. Often, people skip breakfast and lunch in anticipation of a big evening meal. While it may seem wise to hold off on eating until the big feast, this strategy may actually cause you to overeat.
By the time dinner is served, you are so hungry that any willpower you had to manage portions or monitor appetite is long gone.
Have Fun With Your Veggies!
Third, nix the bland vegetable sides. The Thanksgiving table is a great opportunity to highlight delicious root and cruciferous vegetables. Play with flavors yourself, or let the culinary experimenters in your family go wild so that those veggies are beyond bland green beans. Making vegetables a novel part of the meal will help elevate their importance, making it more likely that you’ll fill half your plate with them.
Mind What You Wear
Moving on, try to avoid loose clothing. This isn’t to say you should be uncomfortable, but dressing down may encourage you to overeat because you’re taking away one of the best signals that you are full. Fitted clothing with a belt is an ideal choice for the Thanksgiving meal because there isn’t much give after you’ve eaten. There will be enough distractions to encourage you to overeat, and fitted clothing is simply an insurance policy to help signal to you when you should take a break from meals.
Get up and Move!
Finally, make it a policy to not sit on the couch. Between football, movies, and food coma, it can be easy to layout on the couch for hours at a time over Thanksgiving weekend. Set up a time to go for a walk with family, plan to head to a park to enjoy the fall foliage or volunteer for a cause that’s important to you. Spending your time off the couch is well worth it. Nourishing your body and nourishing your soul go hand in hand, and there is no better holiday than Thanksgiving to bring this philosophy to life.
Thanksgiving is a time to spend with loved ones and to enjoy yourself, but that doesn’t mean you have to fall off track. Avoid these five mistakes to make your Thanksgiving a weight loss success, and for more tips, speak with your Healthy Steps support team or visit one of our clinics to get started now.