No holiday is quite as food-focused as Thanksgiving. Not only do some foods only come around once a year (looking at you, stuffing), it can feel completely normal to over-eat to the point of discomfort.
How can you manage your food choices and portion control in the face of temptation? Our coaches at EMP180 have 5 top tips:
Prep Something For Yourself
Even though there will probably be some kind of vegetable on your table, there’s no guarantee that it will be prepared in a healthy way. Ask your host if you can bring a vegetable side: We love this roast cauliflower with gremolata and these lemon thyme green beans. Try to substitute butter with heart-healthy olive oil!
Studies suggest that eating a meal rich in protein can lead to fewer calories consumed at the next meal. Eggs are a great choice, especially if prepared with veggies for an added dose of fiber. If you’re preparing for a group, consider baking scrambled eggs in muffin tins with some veggies (like peppers, onions, or asparagus) at the bottom. Any picky eaters can prep their own muffin cup and skip the veggies they don’t like.
Come in with a Realistic Plan
Most people already know what their biggest challenges will be during the day. In-laws making it hard to avoid the alcohol? Grandma’s pumpkin pie calling your name? Plan around the indulgences that you will really enjoy and savor. For example, if you want a drink, have half a glass of wine before dinner and finish it during the meal. If desserts are the problem, allow yourself one small slice but don’t go for seconds or take leftovers. Having a food plan can help you not feel overwhelmed with an abundance of options. Speaking of food plan…
Plan Your Plate
Aim for half a plate of veggies, a quarter plate of lean turkey, and a quarter of everything else. Start with a big scoop of those extra-healthy vegetables you made from Tip 1. Since you only have a quarter of your plate for all the carb-heavy sides, you can be more selective about which are your favorites. It may feel strange to say “no” to any of the traditional Thanksgiving foods, but chances are nobody will be noticing what you do or don’t put on your plate. Keep your goals in mind, and remind yourself how good you’ll feel if you don’t overeat!
Start your morning with a family game of football or a fun run. 5k Turkey Trots are becoming more and more popular, with local races in Arlington, Fairfax, Centreville, Manassas, and Alexandria. Many races also offer shorter “fun runs”- usually a mile or so – if a full 5k is intimidating.
After the meal, try to get the family involved in something active. A nice walk is great if the weather allows it. For an indoor activity, get one of the younger crowd to hook up an active video game like “Just Dance.” Not only will you burn some extra calories, but you will create some great new family memories.
Not sure where to start?
Come into EMP180 to begin your weight loss journey. In addition to planning meals and snacks, we can help you explore the reasons behind over-eating and teach you how to manage difficult social occasions. Let’s work on establishing healthy habits that work for you and your lifestyle!
At EMP 180° we offer a personalized approach to nutrition and weight loss. We support you throughout your weight loss journey, giving you the tools to lose the weight and EMPowering you to keep it off—forever.