Though the holiday may officially mean something else, Thanksgiving is known as a day of overindulgence verging on gluttony. And not only with food, but with drink and shopping, too. It may be the day when we are encouraged to give in to most of our vices under the guise of giving thanks for what we have.
In order to help you, we have put together a small list of ways that you can keep to your goals and still enjoy yourself.
1. Have a plan
Remember that with a plan you can decide when you are going to indulge and compensate at another time. Even if we cannot stick to a plan 100%, we will almost always do better than if we did not have a plan to start with.
2. Don’t starve yourself before the big meal
It can be easy to look forward to Thanksgiving dinner with so much anticipation that we skip breakfast and/or lunch, but even when the intent is to ‘leave room’ for extra calories this can backfire. Often when we get really hungry we overeat. Coupled with alcohol, it is very easy to seriously overindulge. If you are using time restricted feeding (TRF) as a tool then you can adjust your feeding window accordingly and keep yourself in check.
3. Pace your drinking
Family, food, and alcohol, they often go together on the holidays. And do not worry, no one here is going to tell you that you have to forgo all your favorite booze on the holiday. But (yes there is a but), it is important to pace your drinking. Have a plan that includes how much you want to drink and try to stick to it. Sticking to this one point is often the key to sticking to everything else: besides the 100+ calories per drink, permission usually flows with the alcohol and that often means eating more than we intended.
4. Do not limit what you eat, just how much
If you want to try the sweet potatoes, the mashed potatoes, the turnips and then stuffing then do so. If you want ice cream on your apple pie go for it. You can taste and try all the different dishes while also being mindful of how much you are eating of each.
5. Workout before hand
Working out before dinner does a couple of things for us that are beneficial. It can help put us in a good mindset and reduce stress so we do not seek food or alcohol for comfort, it creates a little bit of a deficit so that it takes a little sting out of our indulgence, and sometimes it helps us to be more mindful of our goals and how easy it would be to delay reaching them with some poor choices.
6. Do not beat yourself up over one meal
If planning and pacing and the workout before hand do not work and you end up looking like my uncle on the couch after dinner with the top button of your pants open, do not beat yourself up over it. It is one meal and not the end of the world. If this happens then we plan again and move forward from that point. The most important idea to keep in mind is that one meal is just one meal, no matter how large, and each meal after that is a new decision with a new possible outcome.