Wednesday, November 26, 2014

7 Tips to Avoid Overeating on Thanksgiving

As promised on Fat To Fit Radio last week...

7 Tips to Avoid Overeating on Thanksgiving

1) Take Home Leftovers: Bring your own Tupperware. If you overeat because you enjoy good food there is no shame in coming equipped with your own doggie bag. No need to eat mindlessly if you know that you can savor it again later.

2) Sit Down: Many of us take a plate of food and nibble on it until you've found a seat or are ready to sit down. It’s hard to really enjoy food when you are standing up, balancing a plate. Don’t take a bite unless you are sitting down.

3) Name Three of Your Favorite Thanksgiving Foods: It’s likely that you named foods you only get once a year like cranberry dressing, sweet potato pie, or turkey. Consider what it is about these foods that gives you pleasure.  The texture?  Taste?  Smell?  Focus on the foods you really love. Savor. Consider whether you really enjoy filler foods like rolls, things you can get all year.  Stick to what you know you love.

4) Take a Game or Photos: When food is the only event at Thanksgiving, it makes it too easy to mindlessly over eat. Bring your favorite board game, cards, or even bring along photos from the years to ooh and ahh over.

5) Find Ways to Soothe and Comfort Yourself. Holidays are exciting and stressful at the same time. Find ways to calm and soothe yourself so you don’t turn to calories for comfort. 

6) Rethink Thanksgiving: Perhaps we need to change our perception of the holiday before we can change our behavior. In many ways, Thanksgiving is just like any other meal. Allowing yourself to think Thanksgiving is  "different" or "special" seems to imply that there is a different way we eat. Yes, it is a holiday. However, mindful eating is not a diet. You don’t have to avoid good food. It just means eating it slowly, with full awareness. 

7) Mindless Triggers: It’s likely that you know your most common mindless eating triggers. Do you tend to pick mindlessly at food when it is sitting directly in front of you? Does eating next to an annoying relative lead you to stress eat? Make a list of things that sabotage your mindful eating and strategize around how to address them. For example, pick your favorite person to sit next to and grab the seat. If you tend to pick at food, commit to passing food out of arm’s reach as soon as you sit down.  

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