Eating less while giving Thanks
It’s hard to believe that the holidays are already upon us. Another year to come together with family and friends around a table full of food. This season can be a challenge for those with diabetes or other disease states that can inhibit what we eat. It can also be a challenge for those of you who are striving to keep weight under control and not pack on the pounds that you’ve worked hard to take off over the past several months. The holidays can also be a stressful time for those without family and for those with family issues that arise when all are gathered together. These tips aim to give you ideas on how to keep the diet and the stress under control.
Make a plan to exercise
Many runners enjoy a Thanksgiving morning 5K to get their day going. These charitable races make you feel good physically and mentally by running or walking one of these events. They are a great way to set your metabolism for the rest of the day and even prepare your mind for your family gathering.
Locally, the Gallop for the Gravy and the Turkey Trot are held on Thanksgiving Day. If you are unable to participate in one of these on Thanksgiving day, more races are happening in New Hanover County area in the coming days and weeks.
No time to race that morning? Whether you’re the host or the guest, take the lead by announcing that you plan to take a walk after the meal. Get others to join in and it will be something fun to look forward to, plus it will give you an excuse to have a second piece of pie when you get back!
You can also schedule a fitness date with a friend the day after Thanksgiving. Perhaps meet a friend for a brisk walk or run if the weather cooperates. Knowing you’ve committed to burning off those extra calories from Thanksgiving allows you to splurge without feeling guilty.
Focus on friends and family
Rather than obsess over the food at Thanksgiving, focus your attention on the big picture, including the once-a-year sights, sounds, and people at the event. Instead of sampling each and every appetizer before dinner, walk around and catch up with family and friends.
Instead of picking at the leftovers or helping yourself to a second (or third) dessert, offer to help the host clean up. They will appreciate the gesture, and physically removing yourself from the table will help take your attention away from the food. Cleaning up will also help you burn a few calories.
Instead of seeing how much you can eat, serve yourself a small, golf-ball-size serving of everything you want—no restrictions—but have only enough to satisfy your stomach without overdoing it. Remember, sometimes leftovers are better than when it all first comes out of the oven. If you want to save some calories at the main meal, make a plate for later!
Looking for an escape from the ordinary?
Sometimes, it can be overwhelming to plan a big meal or a larger crowd. Don’t feel guilty for breaking away from tradition and starting something new.
Pack a picnic lunch and visit a local state park or the beach for the day. Have a cookout and make turkey burgers or make turkey sandwiches if you must have turkey. Take a long walk or bike on a trail, or spend some time on the beach throwing a football rather than sitting and watching a game on TV (or do both).
Or, ditch it all and take a cruise or go to a mountain resort where the meal is prepared for you. No cooking and no clean up! Just be sure to appreciate and give thanks to those who are working on the holiday so you can enjoy your time off.
Sometimes we get so locked into the way things are “supposed” to be or buy into the media hype about what a real Thanksgiving looks like. it brings much undue stress on us.
Think of something that you would be especially “thankful” for if you had the chance to do it. Then instead of carving a turkey, carve out some time to do that for Thanksgiving.