I’m hearing from just about everybody how anxious they are feeling about Thanksgiving. If you’re anticipating the holiday with stress and fretting that you’re going to “cheat” or “ruin your diet,” I want you to shift to a more positive perspective. This is supposed to be a happy, family centered day– there is no reason to be stressed out.
My top 3 tips for a stress-free Thanksgiving:
1. Remember this is only ONE meal! It’s not what you do occasionally that is going to have a big impact on your health and body, but what you are doing on a day-to-day basis. It is our everyday habits that carry importance. Trust me: You’re not going to erase all your healthy eating if you have some “extras” on Thanksgiving. To help this sink in, turn the situation around: If you normally ate junk food for all your meals, how much of an effect do you think eating one really nutritious meal is going to make if you go right back to your old pattern? Right, not a lot. Again, it’s your daily habits that count.
2. Savor your food, eat slowly and be grateful. Try not to rush through your plate with thoughts of what you’re going to get seconds of. Slow down and enjoy every bite of what you have. Then, once you’ve given your stomach some time to get the message to your brain whether you’ve had enough, you can decide what you want to do. Pause here and you just might find that you feel good and don’t need more just because it’s there. This isn’t a day to see how much food you can put down; it’s a chance to be with people you care about and be thankful for the abundance that we all have in our lives.
3. This one is for those of you who want some sort of guidance to follow. When you’re building your Thanksgiving plate, think this: Make sure at least half your plate is a variety of vegetable-based dishes. There are always lots of these at Thanksgiving– butternut squash, sweet potatoes, green beans, turnips, carrots and salad just to name a few. Load up on these fiber-rich, colorful, antioxidant and vitamin-filled goodies. Save about 1/4 of your plate for your turkey and the last quarter for the more processed stuff like breads or pies. That’s a pretty good balance to aim for.
Wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving!