American culture has come to believe that Thanksgiving is not just a day to stuff your turkey but to stuff your face, forcing you to unbutton your pants (or in many cases wear elastic waist band pants). And once our pants are more comfortable, we watch football for hours and/or pass out for several hours into a food coma. The recovery time is a few days. Many of us have forgotten the “thankfulness” part of Thanksgiving. Sure, it’s about being thankful you have a copious amount of food, but you should be grateful and give thanks every day for the food on your table.
Here are a few tips to help you feel not totally and utterly disgusted with yourself on Thanksgiving. Perhaps it could help change your overall behavior too.
1.Drink lots of water throughout the day and ahead of the “big meal” to have that “full” feeling.
2.If it doesn’t interfere with tradition too much, try to plan the big meal for early evening. Don’t “starve” yourself throughout the day in anticipation of the big meal. Eat small snacks and light meals leading up to dinner so that you aren’t ravenous or “hangry.” Besides, if you will be a much more enjoyable person to be around and your Great Aunt Millie won’t drive you as crazy.
3.Don’t eat after 9 p.m.
4.Throw on a coat and head outside for a walk shortly after the meal. This not only breaks up any family drama, but also helps with digestion.
5.Decide on just ONE slice of pie or chose ONE dessert. It’s not going anywhere, and there will be plenty of leftovers.
6.Pass on the bread. Yes, there is nothing more delicious than a warm flaky roll with butter, but save the carbs and calories and try eating more vegetables or protein.
7.Take a brisk walk or run before dinner. Maybe even participate in your local 5K Thanksgiving morning.
8.Consider donating your time or canned goods to the local food pantry.
9.Stop eating. It isn’t a competition. Maybe one large plate is plenty. Avoid the urge to fill your plate multiple times.
10.Slow down. Chew your food. Pace yourself. Savor the flavors. Your family member just spent several hours creating that dish and you should appreciate it. Enjoy the company you are with. The slower you eat and the more time you allow in between plates, will allow your body to digest the food and truly get full.
11.Space out the main meal from dessert. Maybe the perfect time to take that outdoor walk is in between the main meal and dessert.