The holiday season is labeled “the most wonderful time of the year” and I think that label rings true in many ways. Now we know that the holidays this year will not be the same due to COVID, but we will still be celebrating, just not in the usual ways. While we all do our best to cope with COVID safety measures this holiday season, we wanted to share some tips for not overindulging on foods during the holidays. For example, we tend to associate Thanksgiving as a day solely about eating. In fact, most people tend to skip out on other meals during the day just to save room to eat the “Thanksgiving feast”. Then once we do eat that meal, we do not feel too good. We feel bloated, tired, and overall just like our stomachs are at max capacity. This is not a good feeling to have nor is it something we should do every holiday season.
That being said, here are some ways to ensure that you are not over eating this holiday season:
Don’t skip out on breakfast: By eliminating “the most important meal of the day”, you are left feeling beyond starving by the time it comes for the actual meal. This will lead you to fill your plate based on your growling stomach. So instead of skipping breakfast, set aside a bowl of fruit or a couple pieces of toast to have in the morning. Another alternative is to have the Thanksgiving meal earlier than what you are used to. By doing one or both of these acts you will drastically impact the amount of food you put into your body.
Shrink your holiday menu: I find that when I go to make my plate on holidays the menu is astronomical. The amount of different foods that are set out on the table make it difficult to keep your plate small. It is almost like you feel obligated to take a little bit of everything, then before you know it you need a second plate. To solve this holiday issue, limit the amount of different foods that are being served. Instead of sweet potatoes and regular mashed potatoes, chose the family favorite and just make one. The same goes for vegetables, stick to what the family talks about eating even when it is not during the holidays.
Set the table with smaller plates: Have you ever truly looked at how big our dinner plates are. By having such a big plate, we feel like we have to fill it up. In some cases that leads to our eyes being bigger than our stomachs. We fill up this huge plate with enough food to cover it, then find ourselves attempting to eat it all. This is a very common, preventable, habit that leads to over eating during the holidays. So this year, shrink your dinner and serving plates and leave Thanksgiving dinner feeling nourished and full, rather than feeling like you have to be rolled out.
Keep the serving plates off of the dinner table: While not all families do this, some tend to leave the turkey and sides right on the same table you are dining at. This can become an issue because the food is right in front of you, almost making it effortless to go in for seconds. By keeping the food on a separate table, it will require more effort to get up and refill your plate.
Bring to-go containers to dinner: Holiday feasts leave people over indulging on foods, hoping to preserve the flavor before the day is over. Instead of over eating, bring some to-go containers and pack up a second plate for you to eat later when you are feeling hungry; instead of eating a second plate at the table when you truly know that you are full. By taking home food you will not only help the host clean up more efficiently, but you will also be able to enjoy the foods that the family made later on.
Stay hydrated: No we do not mean off of wine, instead we are suggesting that you have a large glass of water before sitting down for a meal. This is a habit that you can practice before any meal, not just on holidays. By drinking a glass of water before eating, you are signaling to your body that you are full, even if you didn’t eat that much. Also by drink water and remaining hydrated, you are aiding in digestion; which will leave you feeling less bloated. Carry around a glass of water this holiday and leave the party feeling full and hydrated.
Do not become a holiday couch potato: Before eating Thanksgiving dinner most people find themselves on the couch watching football or the news. Instead, grab the family and do something active. Whether that would be playing corn-hole in the backyard or playing a game of charades in the living, by keeping yourself and others occupied and active you will burn a steady amount of calories. Perhaps enough calories to make it back to the table for a slice of pumpkin pie?!
We hope these tips help and that everyone enjoys themselves this Thanksgiving!!