Thxgiving Tips from 5 Dietitians!
Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and it has become a hot topic during our one-on-one nutrition sessions. From pumpkin spice lattes to Mom’s homemade pecan pie, it can be very tempting to neglect our usual healthy habits.
We find that clients who go into Thanksgiving with a positive mindset and realistic goals tend to feel the most satisfied with their holiday experience. These clients leave the meal feeling satisfied, proud of their accomplishment, and connected to their friends and family rather than guilty, stuffed, and distracted. Doesn't that sound pretty tempting...
The majority of our clients shared with us these 2 goals:
Enjoy the delicious Thanksgiving spread without feeling guilty
Eat to the point of feeling full but not uncomfortably stuffed
Here’s what the 5 of us Dietitians have to say about hitting these goals and staying on track during Thanksgiving:
1. Don't skip meals and snacks in order to “save up” for the holiday feast, as this may increase the risk for a holiday meal binge. Be sure to eat a protein-rich breakfast and healthy snacks before the main meal.
2. Mindfully practice listening to and honoring your body by checking-in with your hunger and
fullness cues. Take a moment before, during, and after your meal to silently ask yourself, “How hungry am I feeling right now”? “How full am I feeling right now”? Honor your hunger and give yourself permission to have a second helping if that's what your body is asking for and stop when you feel comfortably full and satisfied.
1. Slow your pace of eating. If you are a fast eater, try pacing yourself with a family member or friend who eats slower than you. It can take 20 minutes for your stomach to signal your brain that it’s full so keep this in mind before going back for second helpings.
2. Be picky! Choose your favorite dessert and stick to one portion rather than tasting them all. The more variety of foods we have on our plate, the more we tend to eat (think of buffets)!
1. Practice self-care. We know family can be hard on mental health sometimes, especially this time a year. Make time to be alone and regroup during the day, be prepared for triggering comments and think about how you want to respond beforehand, ask for support from the people you trust most, and lastly... be present and enjoy the day.
2. Fun movement: Do not torture yourself with intense workouts or use exercise to compensate for "bad" eating. This time a year is about love and that goes for you and your body. Enjoy the traditional treats and move your body IF you want to in ways that are loving and fun.
1. Remember to take a moment for YOU. Stress can wreak havoc on your hormones, glandular system, and digestion. Take a walk, prioritize sleep, remember to breathe, download a meditation app, or jot your stressful thoughts on paper. You will thank yourself later!
2. This year may be the year to try some new recipes that support your health! Here is a recap of our favorite fall recipes:
1. If you love dessert, save room for it. My favorite part of Thanksgiving is the homemade chocolate pecan pie, which has the most calories of all the desserts! I purposely skip the potatoes and rolls (which I can eat any time of year) so I can save room for my slice of heaven!
2. If you do go overboard on Thanksgiving, which is perfectly normal, get right back on track the next day. Don’t let it turn into a month-long binge with the hope of restarting on January 1st. If you struggle to stay on track most days, book a 30-minute clarity call with one of us, we are here to help!
We hope you enjoyed our suggestions and found one or two to try this year! Remember, your attitude going into Thanksgiving is the most important of all. Don't be shy, reach out to us if you need more support.
April Murray, RDN