What’s Your Game Plan on Thanksgiving?

The average Thanksgiving meal typically rings in between 2500 and 5500 calories. Considering a pound equals 3500 calories, that's a lot of calories in one meal. Since we don't want to still be carrying around our holiday dinners in the spring, let's look at ways that we can remain mindful of our calorie counts and still enjoy our Thanksgiving dinner. 

  • Be mindful. Before you sit down, think about what your favorite dishes are. Plan on putting smaller portions than usual of your favorites on your plate. Plan on skipping or putting a tiny portion of the ones that you don't love. Why the tiny portions? If you're still hungry, you can have always go back for seconds but you're less likely to overindulge. Remember, our brains register the first few bites of any food as the best bites so more does not equal better.

  • Be aware of how many calories you're drinking while you wait for the turkey to cook. Calories that we drink, such as sugary and alcoholic drinks, can add up. Plan on replacing some of your caloric drinks with some water. Toss in some lemon or lime to make it even more refreshing. You'll love it after eating a heavy meal!

  • Beware of stress and emotional eating/drinking. It's time to talk about the elephant in the room. The holidays can bring lots of emotions and stress. Some of these are wonderful but some can be incredibly difficult. If you notice that you're eating because you're feeling sad, uncomfortable, stressed or even just bored, stop. Do something else like check out the football scores, play a game with one of the kids, take a stroll outside, repeat your stress reducing phrase (goal 6 on your holiday checklist) or just have a cup of soothing tea. Do something that relaxes you and remind yourself that this that this is one meal on one day of the whole year.

  • Develop a line. 

    If you have a have hard time saying no when someone offers you food, develop a few lines beforehand of how you'll say 'no thank you' in the moment. Here are a few examples. Feel free to use them.  

    • "I'd love to have more but everything was so delicious that I'm full".

    • "I wish I could but I'm stuffed. I'm first in line though if you're giving out leftovers."

    • "None for me but thank you."

Of course, these are skewed towards Thanksgiving but you can use these tips for any meal this season. Most of all, have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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