Holiday gatherings the world over revolve around our favorite comfort foods and provide ample opportunity to indulge freely. In particular Thanksgiving is focused on the harvest and abundance. The nostalgia and tradition surrounding the holidays can send us into eating-autopilot of we are not careful. Dr. Peggy Malone advises: "There are usually many many dishes at a Thanksgiving table and our eyes are often bigger than our stomachs. So take a look around the table or the buffet before you start and make a plan of what you will serve yourself.
Do not feel obligated to try everything that is served. No one is going to get mad if you don't eat Grandma's banana bread pudding. While it can be very exciting to dig into Dad's famous stuffing remember that there are other options out there. Scope out all your options before you place anything on your plate. By doing this you can gauge what foods you would like to try and plan accordingly. If you are not sure if you will like something grab a small scoop (about 2 tablespoons) and try it when you get back to the table. This way you can have a taste of everything rather than piling your plate full of stuffing and mashed potatoes before you even get to the turkey. Prioritize what you really want to try the dishes you only get once a year and when you have the chance always choose the healthier option. If you really want more of something you can go up for seconds. But if you try just a bit of everything that you like first you will feel full before you know it.
Some tips that I use when scoping out my options:
- Pick the plain sweet potatoes over the sweet potato casserole that is loaded with calorie-laden brown sugar and marshmallows.
- Eat the vegetable-based salad instead of the pasta salad that is covered in oil and salty dressing.
- Choose the whole wheat whole grain roll instead of the plain white bread.
- For dessert go for the fruit salad instead of the chocolate lava cake; it will satisfy my sweet tooth without the sugar and fat.
Consider the healthier options as a favor to your body and you will not feel like you are depriving yourself. Make sure you treat yourself during the holidays just don't over-indulge. Remember that Thanksgiving is only one day and do not give yourself license to indulge from Halloween to the New Year. You are in control not the food!
Stay Healthy & Fit