Thanksgiving can be a very stressful holiday for those trying to lose weight. The combination of lots of “Only Once a Year” foods, and peer pressure from the family may lead to poor food choices and over consumption. :(
Many weight loss experts agree that losing weight during the holidays (Thanksgiving to New Year's) is nearly impossible.
They instead encourage a strategy to just maintain your weight over these difficult times.
So, take your weight Thanksgiving morning, and if you are that weight or less come January 2nd, YOU ARE A SUCCESS!!!
Last year I was able to maintain my weight through the Holidays. This year I hope to defy the experts and keep on losing through New Years!
Here are some tips to help you keep from Gobble-Gobbling too much tomorrow!
Weight Loss Holiday Survival Guide:
1. Don't arrive starving.
Eat before the big feast. Try a low calorie healthful meal with lots of fiber, protein, and “good fats” to keep you feeling full until dinner. I plan to eat an omelet made with 1 whole egg and 1 egg white, filled with spinach and mushrooms, cooked in olive oil, served with a zero calorie hot sauce and a piece of whole grain toast or maybe a small serving of old fashioned oatmeal sweetened with Splenda. That whole meal will leave me feeling full for hours, and only has about 350 calories.
2. Make time for exercise every day, especially on Thanksgiving Day.
Thanksgiving can be stressful, but don’t work yourself up, just workout! Get up early and do your normal workout routine, or start a new family tradition of taking a nice walk after the feast!
3. Plan your meal in advance.
You know what foods will be at Thanksgiving: Turkey, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie… they’re a given! So make a plan in advance of what you will eat and stick to it! Allow yourself to indulge, but not pig out. Take larger portions of raw or steamed veggies and skinless white meat turkey. Enjoy higher-calorie foods (like gravy) in smaller portions. If you think you can skip it all together, without feeling deprived, more power to you! You may feel pressured by family to eat more, but you’ll be safe as long as you stick to your plan! You can eat what you like, just less of it!
4. Keep a food journal and write down everything that you eat.
Even on Thanksgiving you should still keep a record of everything you ate. A Food journal is an incredibly powerful tool, especially when you are tempted to overeat!
5. Do not eat food just because it is there.
Distance yourself from the hors d'oeuvre table, and save your calories for the foods you love. Munch on fresh fruits and naked veggies instead of high fat appetizers.
6. Do not eat “Second Helpings.”
The average American consumes 3,500 calories during their Thanksgiving feast. This is not something you’d want to repeat!!!
7. Eat slowly and savor every bite.
Give the food a chance to let you feel the satisfying feeling of fullness.
8. Enjoy a small serving of dessert.
Choose pumpkin over pecan pie and save a few hundred calories. Also, just eat the filling (no crust) to take in fewer additional calories and limit trans fats.
9. Stay Hydrated!
Make water your beverage of choice at Thanksgiving. Avoid eggnog at all cost! Water helps you feel full quicker, and helps you keep from over-eating. You can have one alcoholic drink, but Booze + Diet never equals a result you want. Only have one glass of wine.
10. Focus on the family.
Think about what you are really thankful for. Spend time catching up with Family and Friends instead of mindlessly gorging yourself! Remember, it is difficult (and poor manners) to talk with your mouth full! The more time you spend talking, the less time you will spend eating!