This is not an easy time of year for waistlines. Between the glutenous Turkey Day dinner and the several days of feasting that occur in December, it is no wonder most end the year with a resolution to get back into shape.
I know the ten extra pounds seem inevitable, but ready for some good news? They are totally and completely avoidable will some careful planning. Remember, if you don’t put the pounds on, you don’t have to take them off. And then you get to use your New Year’s Resolution for something else you’ve been meaning to improve but can never seem to get around to.
And as usual, we are here with our trusty old tips to help get you through. Today, we conquer the tasty temptations of Thanksgiving dinner!
1. Do not starve yourself the day of Thanksgiving: Admit it, there isn’t a one of us that isn’t guilty of doing just this, with the rationale that if “I don’t eat now, all the calories later won’t count!” Sadly, this is not how it works. All that happens is you eat too much and you eat too fast. So do yourself a favor, if it’s a Thanksgiving lunch, eat a hearty breakfast and a snack. If it’s a dinner, eat breakfast, snack, lunch, and another small snack. Not only will you not overeat as much (let’s face it, overdoing it a little is probably in the cards no matter what), but you’re body won’t hold onto the extra fat for as long since it hasn’t been in starvation mode.
2. Slow and steady wins the race: That old tortoise and the hare thing applies to just about everything in life, including Thanksgiving dinners. But seriously, there is no reason to turn into a garbage disposal, gobbling up everything in sight as soon as it appears on the table. Because my boyfriend is a good Italian boy, I’ve seen him do this on several occasions and I can honestly say with almost certainty that he doesn’t taste any of the food being shoveled rapidly into his mouth. He leaves ten pounds heavier and no more satisfied since he has no clue of what he just ate. And that’s the problem with eating too quickly. Slow down, you’ll enjoy the food more while giving your body some time to register how much you have eaten.
3. Portions, portions, portions: As always, watch your portion size. Taking smaller portions means you can sample a little bit of everything without going overboard. Also, try for only one serving of food that isn’t so healthy, such as, you know, dessert.
4. Drink more water: First of all, water is a lot better for you than the empty calories that come with wine, beer, soda, eggnog, etc. That’s not to say that you can’t still enjoy any of the above, but water should be the main drink with your meal. Not only does it save you excess calories, but it also helps fill up your stomach, curbing hunger and keeping you hydrated.
5. Plan after dinner activities: Instead of allowing yourself to pass out on the sofa, or worse yet, continue snacking, plan an after dinner activity such as a walk or a game. Both will give you something to concentrate on aside from the excessive leftovers that are taunting you from the kitchen. As an added plus, you might even burn off a little of what you ate!
To be sure, you should plan to enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner. Don’t deprive yourself for the sake of depriving yourself. So long as you eat well most of the time, a little indulgence here and there around the holidays won’t hurt. Moderation is key. The more moderation, the less likely you are to wake up with one of those awful food hangovers!
(Photo by Terren in Virginia)