My Two Cents on Thanksgiving Eating
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
With Thanksgiving coming up tomorrow I have been reading many different ideas and strategies on how to deal with holiday eating. Three of the most common I have seen are to not care because it's a holiday and eat whatever you want, taste a little of everything and focus more on the veggies and turkey, or stick completely with your diet and give up everything else.
Here is my two cents:
The first and third are both extremes, hey if it works for you that's fine, but I hate feeling sick with food and I hate feeling deprived so I lean more towards the middle and while I think that's a good plan, did I mention that I hate feeling deprived? I take a slightly more specific approach to the holidays (this also applies to Christmas).
I think it IS okay to eat what you want on the one actual holiday as long as you don't turn everyday into a holiday (i.e. including all the other parties, potlucks, leftovers, etc), because ONE day will not make you fat (and yes you should squeeze in an extra workout if possible) but I think people get overwhelmed and lose focus on what it is they really want. Go ahead and fill up on the lean protein and veggies but DO NOT deprive yourself of the things you really want of force yourself to eat an unnaturally small portion.
The key is to focus on what foods actually makes the holiday special. Does your family make an amazing baked brie recipe just for the holidays? EAT IT! However, if you are serving wheat thins and kraft cheddar why not save those cals for Aunt Sally's once a year chocolate pie and homemade stuffing. In other words don't bother with the things that are not special because you can eat them all the time and won't regret skipping that white dinner roll. Now I don't think you should eat three pieces of pie but go ahead and have a normal size serving of the unhealthy once a year special treats you really love.
Focus on not feeling too full and not feeling deprived of things you love, forget the calories just for one day. Yes you will eat more than usual but it doesn't have to be a full pounds worth.
**You may wish to skip the alcohol for the same reason or only have one glass. Unless you are serving something really special that glass of wine will always be available. Not to mention alcohol will make you more likely to eat those other not worth it things (see kraft cheese above). If you do have it try waiting to have it with your dinner when you can see what's on your plate rather than while you are walking around munching appetizers. While you're at it though put your appetizers on a plate too instead of mindlessly munching your way through just a taste here and handful here so you are mindful of what you are eating (hint most served appetizers are not worth it, focus on anything homemade or unique).