I also make sure to use “common” sense and not go overboard when it comes to all the goodies. Of course, I have a plate consisting of all the items served, but I try to make sure I take more of the items that are less in calories and fat, instead of those loaded with them! The white meat from the turkey has less fat than the dark meat, so I take that instead. As for the potatoes, I may just use a small spoonful of gravy or “fat-free” butter spray. Take larger servings of green beans, corn, cranberries, green salad (watch the dressing!) or fresh veggies without all the dip.
Please, don’t deny yourself all the higher calorie items on Thanksgiving, simply allow yourself small portions-just enough to taste and enjoy. The first bite always tastes the best anyways; if you desire, have a second or third bite, but then stop. Don’t fill up on items that you’ll feel guilty about later.
This advice goes for the dessert, too. Since I knew that I was making a lifestyle change, I allowed myself dessert for the holidays, and cake/ice cream at all birthday parties. I realize that they consist of many empty calories, but I also knew that if I completely denied myself any of these “treats,” I would feel sorry for myself, and then eat it later anyways.
And that’s why all my previous “diets” failed before. Completely denying myself of items-such as sweets-would eventually cause me to eat in excess amounts “in hiding,” leading to weight gain. I don’t want that to happen to you! Learn from my mistakes.
My first piece of advice for this holiday is: ENJOY IT! It truly isn’t only about the food, it’s about family, friends, and traditions-both new and old.
My second piece of advice is: LISTEN TO YOUR CONSCIENCE! When it tells you to stop because you had enough, agree with it and find something else to do. Help clean up the kitchen, do some dishes, wrap up the leftovers and put them away, play a board game, find old photo albums to look through, call a relative or friend that was unable to attend the gathering, or my favorite, go for a walk together as a family.
Take note of the mood of those who walk with you. They’ll probably have a higher energy level and appear more cheerful than those who don’t. You’ll have enjoyed some time together, burned off several of those calories, and focused on your health. Of course you’ll be in a better mood-it just makes sense!