5 Tips to Get Through Thanksgiving Without Feeling Too Full

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A follow-up to our last post about why you need to understand the reason you leave Thanksgiving too full, this blog will go into some specific, quick tips and tricks for Turkey Day to help you get through successfully, and leave without feeling too full.

Actually, the title of this blog should be, “How to Get Through Thanksgiving Without Unbuttoning Your Pants Under Your Sweater,” because it happens but let’s try to avoid that!

How many times have you left a holiday party or ANY large event, feeling SO full it’s almost upsetting? You need to unbutton your top button to breathe better… It happens! But it doesn’t have to.

I highly suggest trying to get to the bottom of it all, and understand the WHY (you can read that in our last blog), but for now we are short on time and Thanksgiving is HERE… Below are some quick tips to keep the top button comfortable and your Thanksgiving healthful.

1. Please, eat throughout the day! Do NOT starve yourself leading up to Thanksgiving dinner! Not eating anything all day long is actually the opposite of what you want to do.

Restricting your food all day will lead to immediate overeating the moment the party starts. In addition, it will take time for your body to register your satisfaction with the food! Your blood sugar will be very low and you will continue to eat to try raising your blood sugar. By the time you achieve this, you will likely have eaten too much for your system. This is a recipe for holiday eating disaster!

2. In line with #1, make sure to eat throughout the day. This will help keep your blood sugar stable and keep your cravings at bay. It will also allow your body to digest food normally throughout the day, which will be helpful to your body digesting your Thanksgiving meal.

3. Stay hydrated throughout the day - always a great suggestion! Staying hydrated will support your digestion and also ensure you don’t mistake thirst for hunger. Which, as silly as that sounds, is extremely common and a top offender that can cause overeating. 

4. Think about what you truly enjoy at Thanksgiving dinner. Is it the sides? For many it is! Is it the appetizers, or the turkey? Your Aunt’s famous sweet potatoes? Give this some thought. Think about this a bit and PLAN to enjoy these foods!

a. Try to fill up half your plate with veggies - whether salads, cooked vegetable sides, and/or crudité. If you are going back for seconds, try to focus on proteins and veggies as opposed to the super carb- and sugar-heavy sides. Some people might prefer to eat the more indulgent sides (with portion control!) first, while others would rather have additional veggies and protein first, and then go for their favorite family dishes second! Think about which approach will be most successful for you.

5. Check in with yourself! Make it a point to check in with how you’re feeling. Are you satisfied? Are you eating simply because there is food in front of you? Check in and see how you are doing before continuing to eat. Maybe take a break, focus on the conversation and the people around you.

If you are having difficulty assessing how you are feeling, put the fork down and focus on the joy and people around you for 15-20 minutes. After those 15 minutes, check in again and see how you are doing and decide your next move with a clear mind!

Most of all, enjoy every second. If you are blessed to have loving family and/or friends around you, then this is the greatest gift of all.

Enjoy them all, and focus on the people and the conversation. Remind yourself that the food is not the main thing you will remember in 10, 20 or 30 years.

You will think back on the people, the laughs, and the love. This should be the real focus.

Healthfully and with love,
Jaime