Every year when Thanksgiving comes around, I start getting worried about gaining more weight in the holiday season. I know that I will be up against pumpkin pies, pecan pies and my favorite stuffing. It is a real struggle y’all. This is the time when our diet plans are at major risk. No worries, this year we can keep it under control with my Top 10 tips below.
1) Be prepared for the food event. It is a battle zone of pies, cookies, desserts, drinks and all sort of things. You need to have a game plan. See if you can find out what they are serving beforehand and think about the alternate choices you can have. Walk around the table without a plate first and mark your items and then go fill your plate. Keep the major portion of the plate filled with veggies and salad. Loading up on these first will help fill the stomach.
2) Focus on the social aspect around you rather than the food itself. Take time to go chat around and make conversation. Don’t be in a rush to go for seconds, maybe catch up with a family member you haven’t seen in a while.
3) Decide about your alcohol intake before hand. Remember alcohol adds up as liquid calories and depending on the drink, it may up your carb load also. Being inebriated can lower your will power and you may end up eating more than planned!
4) Make time for physical activity. As a family, you can spend time being active together. Walk in the park or bike around the neighborhood. You can even participate in a Turkey Day run that happens in almost every city during this time.
5) Learn to practice Mindful eating. This helps to bring awareness to the experience of eating. Pay attention to the smell of the food, the visual details and savor each bite. The whole experience will improve satiation and you can stop before becoming overly full.
6) Take some time to practice relaxation techniques like mindfulness and meditation. Holidays and meeting family members can get stressful. Focus on your health and diet plans. No need to please others more than yourself!
7) Have some reasonable expectations for yourself. Even if you cannot lose weight this season, try to at least maintain the weight. That itself can be a huge accomplishment and you can avoid major setbacks.
8) Try to stick to your daily routine as much as possible. Make sure you continue to weigh frequently and track your diet and exercise calories. Keeping up with these details is always better than the weight gain sneaking up on you at the end of December.
9) Some people tend to get more depressed in this season. Learn to recognize the negative thoughts and practice more positive thinking. It helps to write in a gratitude journal daily. There are plenty of volunteering opportunities this time of the year. Helping others will bring a smile to your face as well.
10) In the end, if you end up going overboard and stuff yourself full on the Turkey day, it is still okay