Thanksgiving Tips

A friend was celebrating a weight loss milestone, which got me to thinking: I know a lot of people who are successfully taking weight off. I wonder how much they’ve done all together.

So I posted a Facebook query:

I have lost 15 pounds since [The Kid] was born. Another friend is celebrating a weight loss milestone. I know a few other friends who have been shedding pounds for a few months or a few years. Can we get a cumulative total here? Any of you who want to chime in (whether I’m aware of your fat loss path or not), please do!

23 people commented; 22 commented about weight loss. Achievements ranged from 10 to 91 pounds.

Cumulative total, including the 15 I’ve taken off: 726 pounds!

I hope that the timing of the post (and of this post) helps those 22 people to remember how hard they’ve worked to get where they are, and that they can enjoy a delicious meal tomorrow without consuming two days’ worth of calories at one meal.

And now, I hope you remember, too!

I have seen a smattering of posts talking about revving up, getting ready, etc. for blind overindulgence tomorrow. It’s as if people don’t feel like they’re getting their holiday’s worth if they aren’t uncomfortable and/or sick at the end of the meal.

If you “need” to wear special pants, feel bloated and disgusting, etc., then no tips to help curb overeating will help — you want to overeat.

I used to be like that. For a long time. I get it.

I’m also glad I’m not like that any more. Will this be the year you say, “I’m not like that any more”? The year you realize you can enjoy the meal without pain?

If you’re looking for some practical in-the-trenches tips, check out Jenn’s post here. She is in the midst of an amazing body transformation journey that is so exciting to witness!

If you’re looking for more psychological tips, read on.

The first one, actually, is the same: the day is not just about food. Surely, there will be at least one person at the dinner table who you like? Make Thanksgiving about them 🙂 Seriously, though, I hope there is at least some piece of this holiday that you are looking forward to that isn’t food. If not, perhaps this is the year to come up with one. Start a new tradition.

Give thanks for your body … and then mean it by fueling it properly. Overeating — especially on most of the foods that are commonly available — is stressful for your body, in addition to the weight that is likely to creep on.

Eat mindfully. Notice how the food looks and smells. Feel it in your mouth. Notice how it tastes. Pay attention to it. You could eat three bites of something slowly in the same amount of time that you eat twice as many quickly. Slow down and savor.

Food stops tasting as good after the first couple of bites — our taste buds get sated. So, combining this tidbit with the previous — take just a few bites and really enjoy them, before the novelty of their taste wears off.

Stop when you are full. Seriously. If dinner is over and you are full, don’t eat dessert yet. Wait an hour or two or three and then have a slice of pie. Afraid the vultures will eat it all? Take a slice and hoard it until later 😉

It will take you a long time to work off a lot of extra calories. Way longer than it will take you to consume them. Consider if it’s worth the extra workout time (or running a reasonable calorie deficit for the next week or more), if you’re looking not to gain weight.

After dinner, go for a walk. It doesn’t need to be fast and furious. This isn’t a “get the heart rate up!” kind of walk — just be out and moving around. And since you have planned the walk ahead of time, be mindful while you’re eating that you need to be mobile when the meal is over (not “in a while, when I can move again”). Use it as an opportunity to connect with others who go for a walk with you, or as a time to escape from the insanity for a bit.

Enjoy your meals! Enjoy the holiday! Be thankful in real, concrete ways, for whatever it is that you’re thankful for.

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by melanie on 22 November 2012 at 07:36

    I guess I didn’t realize people actually TRY to over eat on thanksgiving. Part of our favorite part is all the leftovers! Turkey sandwiches for a week, easy quick dinners from leftovers. Thanksgiving dinner twice in one day (lunch and dinner are dinner). We make a lot of food, but it lasts a long time and getting together with family is the best part by far! Thanks for the walking tip! Sounds like a great family activity.

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