Today is a memorable day, a delicious one, and for many quite a troublesome day. We can’t deny that today we are surrendered by great food, but when having a change of habits and diet it might seem that it can all go wrong.
There might be an idea that maybe we can’t eat much nor enjoy, or if we let yourself eat, we will eat way to much or even that we need to find a healthier alternative of those foods, but even if we are in a diet we don’t have to, nor eat small portions or find healthier alternatives, if you are having a sustainable diet you can adapt thanksgiving to eat what you enjoy and not eat till we are about to explode.
So how do we have healthier THANKSGIVING?
1. Take control of the rest of the day.
Thanksgiving food can be on one meal of the day, most of the time dinner, so on the rest of the day, take control. THIS DOESN’T MEAN that you have to eat less food, you still have to nourish yourself. So still have a nourishing breakfast, snack and lunch.
FOR EXAMPLE if you see that would like to have the sweets on dinner, don’t eat them during the rest of the day like jam, chocolate or candy , and if you see that the dinner is going to have a lot of grains, potatoes or bread, lower the consumption of grains for breakfast and prefer fruits, legumes to be satisfied, have a lot of fiber in veggies as well to be full.
The TIP is to evaluate what you are eager to eat during dinner time and on the meals that you are having more control, eat enough but prefer other options to enjoy yourself at dinner. Something like this:
SO as you can see if a normal day it might look like in top of the picture for thanksgiving day you can change the options of food to prefer to eat them during dinner time. Like said before, it doesn’t mean that you need to eat less or starve, you just need to change the distribution.
We know that thanksgiving food can last quite some time, DON’T PANIC, you can still have some thanksgiving food on the day prior, just add more veggies, fiber and nourish yourself as normally. Take as a reference the next image, you are having a balanced meal and having stuffing and turkey.
The KEY is knowing how to balance and combine meals.
It’s important to move everyday, but during those days it is most important. NOT BECAUSE YOU CAN “burn more calories” or “eat more”, but because you can promote a healthy stomach flow, and so you avoid constipation, acid reflux and foremost a better glucose uptake, so in simple word, you avoid feeling heavy, avoid heartburn and you reduce glucose peaks as well to improve your carbohydrate metabolism.
Moving before is great, but moving after dinner is amazing, promoting all those benefits even more. You don’t have to move on a high intensity note, just walking for 10 to 15 minutes is enough.
3. WATER and ALCOHOL
At least 8 cups a day is necessary to have a healthy organism, that is a must. We have to keep in mind that there is also alcohol around, like we said it’s a celebration. Alcohol can have many negative effects, when having way too much, and it’s a diuretic so it causes dehydration, in simple words you will go pee much often.
Keep in mind drinking water when having alcohol is important but more specifically for each 8 ounce of alcohol have at least 6 ounces of water or small cup. This will not only avoid dehydration, but we can avoid having a hangover on the next day.
It's important to point out that avoiding having a lot of alcohol during a small period of time can cause metabolic effects on the body and can cause an increase in body fat percentage. The recommendation is to have not more than to 14 ounces of alcohol a day
4. Being aware
Mindful eating or being aware of your body when we eat is great practice during the holidays. And to practice during thanksgiving dinner can be a great tool, so to practice ask and answer these questions:
When serving your plate;
Of the food that is available to me at this moment, what do I want or crave? Be realistic with yourself and serve the quantities of food that you are going to finish or believe that you can finish.
How can I make these meals more balanced? Maybe add a bit of green or fruit at the end.
What food and flavor do I like the most?
What is my favorite food now?
Is the taste changing from the beginning to now?
Do I crave dessert? If I do, Do I need to stop eating to make room for dessert or can I keep eating?
Maybe you like something more than other, so serve yourself another portion of what you like. If so, What is it that you liked so much about that food? It’s okay to prefer that food over other even if you already serve yourself.
When feeling full:
It’s important to say, YOU DON’T HAVE TO FINISH EVERYTHING THAT YOU SERVE IN YOUR PLATE, don’t force yourself. You need to enjoy food and if you overeat in your body it might be uncomfortable so , be comfy and aware of your body.
Is my body full? How does it feel in my body?
Respect your natural body sensations and acknowledge them. You can have a piece of pie a bit later or even tomorrow morning if you are completely full. Be true to your body and your body will thank you later.
These are special moments in our lives, food is part of our emotions and controls how we feel and remember many special moments, who doesn’t remember the turkey of grandma or the pumpkin pie of your aunt or the stuffing of Mom. Sharing food and flavor is part of those moments, we need to cherish them, cause those can be gone in a moment and you might regret not sharing that moment with family, just because you were on a “diet”.
Being on a diet and changing habits doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy food,, that’s part of being healthy human, to balance, nourishing and enjoying ourselves.