One thing for which I am ever-so-thankful is my fabulous Nutrition Counselor, Catherine. She whipped up these great tips to help you get through the holiday free of food-regrets!
Thanksgiving on track:
It’s as easy as 1 2 3!
By Catherine Holcomb, DfH Nutrition Counselor
Thanksgiving has a reputation of being a holiday where you are SUPPOSED to eat until you feel sick. That is one tradition that we do NOT want to pass down to the next generation! Stick to one plate – and not a plate with enough food piled on it to get you through the apocalypse! Eat that plateful SLOWLY, savoring EVERY bite, and remember, you will have leftovers for days.
Pile up your 1 plate with lean protein, lots of vegetables, and 1 serving of starch. Anything else counts as your treats – it could be a small slice of pumpkin pie or other dessert, half of a sweet potato, stuffing, mashed potatoes, or any of the other abundant starches available at Thanksgiving. Savor them and see how satisfying they are when you have trained your taste buds to “eat clean.” You should find you get more “bang for your bite” than in past years.
Use this to get the most pleasure with the least weight gain: 90% of the flavor is in the first 3 bites of any food. This means you can get satisfied on smaller quantities. It’s likely that even the holiday vegetables are richer than what you normally consume at home, so pay attention, listen to your palate, and savor. Avoid mindlessly eating while talking…you want to squeeze every bit of pleasure out of each bite.
Have a happy Thanksgiving! We here at Diet for Health are thankful to be on your health team! Whatever happens, do your best and come see us next week.
More Thanksgiving Tips from Catherine:
1. Make a vegetable dish that you have cooked in a healthy way that you really like. That way you know you have something delicious and healthy that can already take up half of your 1 plate! Brussels sprouts, broccoli, green beans, asparagus, mashed cauliflower, roasted carrots, or salad are all good ideas.
Football – playing, not watching! It’s important to be at least moderately active after the Thanksgiving meal. Helping clean up in the kitchen right after the meal helps, or doing anything that does not involve lying on a couch or slouching in a chair. You can go for a walk, play catch, take a quick bike ride, or play some more competitive touch football – whatever suits your fancy!
Have your HELP (Healthy Eating Lifestyle Pride) speech ready, for anyone who is overzealous about serving seconds, or questions the amount of food on your plate, or has any other comments or behaviors that might be obstacles to your eating on thanksgiving. eg:
o ‘I feel way better when I eat lighter – and I want to enjoy my time with people I love, not go into a food coma!’
o ‘Last year I felt really sick after Thanksgiving, so this year I’m listening to my stomach a little more!’
o ‘That dish was delicious – but I’m stuffed right now. Could I take some home as leftovers?’
Avoid the post-meal food coma by limiting sugar and starches. If you’re going to eat a little bit more than you normally do, have the extra be vegetable or lean protein. We like to say that turkey makes us sleepy, but I’m betting the stuffing, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, and pecan pie are probably making us groggier than the turkey!
Wear one of your more snug pairs of pants or dresses – this will help remind you how much food you are consuming!
Drink lots of water and try some Thanksgiving-friendly teas, with cinnamon or other fall aromas. You can sip on your tea while others eat their second piece of pumpkin pie 🙂
Make Black Friday into Get Back Friday – get back into exercise, get back into healthy eating, get back your routine, get back your tastebuds! Healthy leftovers are great, but make sure not to have anything too sweet left lying around!
Don’t punish yourself if your eating doesn’t go completely according to plan. Having one accidental indulgence usually doesn’t do too much damage, but if you’re too hard on yourself about a mistake, you’ll be more likely to go down the ‘Screw it!’ path, which can do some very real damage.
Jill’s Note: If you haven’t yet met Catherine, I highly recommend working with her. She is a research assistant at Caltech (studying will power, among other things), long-time client, and nutrition success story. She is as sharp and devoted as you’ll ever find. Thank you, Catherine!