Thanksgiving is one of the most delicious times of the year. And, as a day to give thanks and spend time with friends and family, it’s a time when you can give yourself permission to indulge. Still, Turkey Day is the first of many holiday occasions, and eating too much – or eating the wrong things – can make you lose focus on healthy living. Here are 10 tips to engage in “mindful-eating” on Thanksgiving and throughout the holiday season.
- Snack first. Start the day by having a light, healthy breakfast that is high in protein and fiber, such as Greek yogurt and berries. This will help keep you satisfied until the feast, and prevent you from overindulging later out of hunger.
- Hit the veggies. Before the main meal, look to the veggie tray as your number-one choice for snacking. The fiber will keep you full, but you’ll still have room for food at dinner.
- Hydrate. Sip water throughout the day. Water will prevent you from snacking too much before dinner and help limit alcohol consumption.
- Put forethought into your personal plate. As you pass dishes, decide which items you can forgo and which items you can’t go without. For example, opt for the stuffing, but pass on the rolls. Both are bread, but stuffing is a Thanksgiving treat, while bread is common at most meals.
- Don’t skimp on the turkey. When assembling your plate, remember that turkey is high in protein, low in calories, filling, and delicious.
- Make at least half of your plate fruits and veggies. While some vegetables may come in the form of fattening casseroles, serve yourself a raw vegetable or salad as well.
- Enjoy. Because feasting is a focus of Thanksgiving, be sure to help yourself to the casserole, stuffing, and mashed potatoes. But take a reasonable portion and mindfully enjoy each bite.
- Eat slowly. Remember that it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to actually register that you’re full. Eating slowly will help you avoid the temptation for seconds when you’re already stuffed. And besides, it means there will be more Thanksgiving leftovers, which are the best!
- Save room for dessert. Again, it’s okay to indulge during the holidays. Take a small piece of your favorite holiday dessert, and make the most of every spoonful.
- Redirect your attention. Finally, keep in mind that Thanksgiving and the holidays aren’t only about food. Focus instead on spending quality time with your family and friends.
Have a great Thanksgiving and see you at the YMCA.