As I age, my opinion of holiday eating has evolved. The younger me used to encourage clients to eat slowly, savor, to eat the protein and veggies first to blunt any blood sugar spikes, to get up and use the restroom after the first helping to give the brain time to feel satiated…all kinds of things to minimize Thanksgiving overeating.
These are still valid tips. BUT…as I come to think of holiday times as more precious opportunities to bond socially, to make happy memories and to really enjoy life, the less I want to encourage anyone to do much of anything besides cherish their day. Being mentally present and enjoying the occasion might mean turning off the inner food cop.
So there you go — encouragement to eat whatever you want tomorrow, if it will make your holiday more joyful.
HOWEVER (you knew there would be one…sorry!)
What matters more than what you eat on a single day is what are your day-in, day-out habits. Those daily routines are the place where only 20 excess calories can add up to 20 extra pounds of fat each decade. Whoa! So here’s my advice:
Enjoy Thanksgiving however you like, but then be extra vigilant to get your habits back on track afterwards. This can be tough because:
Appetite might Increase.
One big meal can stretch your stomach, making it harder to feel satisfied on the same old quantities. Your body may want more food.
Taste Buds can be Blitzed.
One day of extra sweet, salty, savory, rich flavors can make it so that the next day’s “clean” foods taste bland and boring. For example, your daily apple might taste pretty lame after apple pie.
New Cravings can be Born.
Cravings can cement into your brain in only 3 days. By day 3 of eating leftover banana bread every morning, you might find that you now have a daily craving that takes weeks of resistance to forget.
Addictions can Awaken.
Addictions to sugar or other substances can be like poison ivy: MUCH stronger than ever before, after only a little exposure.
So all of this means that no matter how you choose to eat on Thursday, it’s worth it to exercise your best will power on Friday, Saturday and Sunday…or be prepared to have some new bad habits to deal with.
Alright, if you’ve read this far, then you are part of the Diet for Health Family…even if we’ve never met you. We are so thankful to have you in our lives, and we hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!