A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

Weight Loss Wednesday: Guilt Free Thanksgiving

on November 27, 2013

Seriously, this is just a day. Try not to give it and the associated foods the power to send you into a spiral of guilt and shame after it is all over. If you remember nothing else I say today, remember that.

This is a day that can be particularly challenging because there is a lot of emotional investment in the foods that are served, from years of memories good and bad that we associate with this day. It can also be challenging because unless you’re hosting,  you don’t have much control over the foods you are going to be served. Even if you are hosting, with all of the foods that your particular family traditions require, you may not have much control even though you’re providing the food! It can also be stressful, which leads to overeating for lots of us. It’s completely human to be worried about Thanksgiving if you’re trying to lose weight!

Some things to keep in mind that may help:

  • Remember that it is a day about more than just food. Focus on crafts with the kids or catching up with your family or reflecting on the things for which you are grateful and try to take some of the focus off of the food in your mind. I know as a mom of a two year old, I’d be thrilled if someone volunteered for toddler entertainment duty and it would definitely keep you too busy to graze!
  • Speaking of grazing, be careful about the nibbles before and after the meal. It’s easy to eat tons of calories without realizing it while you’re cooking and cleaning up. One tip I heard that would be helpful is to use a different spoon for each taste and keep them lined up on the counter so you can see how many bites you’re taking. That could add up fast!
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  • Look over all of the food options before you decide what to choose, so that you can make balanced choices. If you know you want a piece of pumpkin pie with whipped cream, maybe you take a little less stuffing to make room in your calorie budget. This even helps you plan appropriate space on your physical plate! Many times I’ve grabbed things as I went along, only to run out of room on my plate before I get to the item I was most looking forward to. This means I either literally pile my plate or worse, I may a second trip which tempts me yet again with all of the other items available. Try to make one trip and make it one where you’ve planned your choices beforehand.
  • Choose the things that are worth it. Generic grocery store cake probably isn’t worth it but your grandmother’s famous stuffing may be. Choose things that have the highest rewards in either taste, emotional impact or scarcity (ie don’t pick something you could have any day of the year!). For me, the roast turkey is really the thing that is worth it for me – I’ll be using most of my points there for the day!
  • Wait at least twenty minutes after you’ve finished eating before you consider going back for dessert or going back for more. That gives your stomach time to process that you’re full (or that you’re not!) rather than rushing through while you’re on a roll. It might help to get up and take a walk or at least leave the room to get your mind off of eating more if you aren’t really hungry.
  • This is sort of obvious, but bring something you can eat a lot of (like a fruit plate, veggie tray or salad). Even if no one but you eats it (and even if you don’t actually eat it yourself), it helps you feel like you have a little smidgen of control over the food you are presented with.

Most importantly, it is just one day. That means if you don’t stick to your plan, don’t beat yourself up so much that you ruin the rest of your weekend. One day of overindulgence is not going to undo all of the work you’ve done unless you let it bleed into the rest of the holiday season. If you break one egg, you do not throw out the whole dozen! Friday is just another day – get back on track!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

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6 responses to “Weight Loss Wednesday: Guilt Free Thanksgiving

  1. Lauren says:

    Great tips! I definitely only eat the things that are very worth it. Best way to help avoid other random foods! The only one plate is another great way to help – one plate of food, one piece of dessert! If I want more than that, my new trick is to drink sparkling water. For some reason, it just curb the cravings!

  2. leannenalani says:

    Love it. Yep, like you said it’s not all about the food. And there’s no reason to beat ourselves up about going off plan a bit. Things happen and it’s Thanksgiving, only one day.

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