Do you dread the thought of Thanksgiving? Do you tell yourself “Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels?” (Source)
Thanksgiving is about being with your family and enjoying family time. Wait, what? Ok not everyone loves the family time. Maybe what you love is the food. All the glorious different types of food that we don’t eat the rest of the year. That’s what most people look forward to. That’s great unless you're focused on your weight loss or weight maintenance. If you’re part of that crowd then you’re probably getting anxious just reading this post.
Moderation is a buzz word during the holidays. We should try just one little bite of this or that. We should only have one glass of wine or one beer. Who really does that? Nobody except the most dedicated. If you’re in that population, good for you but this post isn’t for you.
First, what’s moderation even mean?
Aristotle explained it as the “golden mean”, which is the principle of finding the middle point between two extremes. (Source) Following that logic, if the diet gurus say just have one glass of wine and you want 3 glasses then a moderate amount would be 2 glasses. Second, and more specifically what this post is about is Thanksgiving cliches that people always try to push on us. You’ve heard them before, Skip breakfast or try only a little bit of everything or load up one plate and don’t go back for more.
Who does that?
Who only fills their plate once? If you answered yes, then stop lying to yourself. Let’s try to build a quick game plan for Thanksgiving that will hopefully help you stick to your weight loss goals but also allow you to enjoy some of those foods we only eat once a year. This isn’t about healthy Thanksgiving recipes because they usually don’t taste as good. This isn’t about the healthiest Thanksgiving foods. These are quick go-to’s that will allow you to stay fit and healthy during Thanksgiving.
Cliche: Skipping Meals before the big dinner - So here we are. You’ve been kicking butt with your trainer trying to stay healthy and fit during the holidays. You know you’re going to eat big on Thanksgiving so you decide your best plan of action is to skip breakfast and lunch before the big meal. That makes sense right? You save all the calories for the actual Thanksgiving meal. The problem here is you’ll go to dinner so hungry, you will more than likely eat even more than you would have. Hopefully, if you’re seeing a trainer they’ll tell you not to skip any meals. If they do tell you that, it’s time to find a new trainer (wink wink). So Don’t Skip any meals! Treat it like any other day. Which leads to our next cliche.
Cliche: Treating Thanksgiving like it’s your last meal - Is Thanksgiving your last meal? No, it’s not. So don’t treat it that way. Don’t try to eat everything you can. This one goes with the first cliche. You’ll be able to eat tomorrow. You’ll be able to resume your diet plan on black Friday. If you treat this like a normal day with just different food then you’ll be able to stay fit and healthy this holiday season.
Cliche: Load up on one plate no seconds - Who the heck doesn’t get seconds on Thanksgiving? Not us that’s for sure. This is setting you up for failure. So what’s better than just filling your plate to the brim? Using a smaller plate. Believe it or not, using a smaller plate and allowing yourself to get seconds will actually help you eat less. The idea is you’re more likely to get less of everything each trip. Try using a salad plate instead of a big dinner plate. After all, the salad plate is what our grandparents used for their main course.
Cliche: Drink only during dinner - This could work. Sometimes. It’s hard to just walk around with water while everyone else is enjoying the holiday libations. It’s hard to be the only one not drinking before dinner. Instead, pick one food to avoid and one drink. When you get to the party decide what snack you’ll have some of and what drink you’ll have before dinner. Remember, moderation is the game here. Find that middle ground.
Cliche: Try a little bit of everything - This is like all the others. It’s silly to just try a little bite of each course. C’mon man! Nobody wants to try one bite of sweet potatoes or pumpkin pie. That’s silly. What happens if that one bite blows your mind? Are you really going to stay away from that the rest of the night? Most likely not. So, what should you do? Why not stick to the Seasonal Foods? You can have mashed potatoes all year round. Stick with the foods that you would never eat except at Thanksgiving.
Look, we’re all trying to live a more fit and healthy lifestyle. The holidays, or more accurately, the weight gain quarter ruins goals. It crushes our willpower and most of us give up on our diet. This year let’s try to keep everything in moderation. Enjoy these holiday parties but be smart. Know yourself and what you’re good at. Know what you’re bad at. Don’t fall for the cliches. Listen to your trainer and you’ll be ready for bikini season before you know it!