Thanksgiving can be a difficult time to focus on weight reduction. We have our favorite dishes available, the stressors of family coming, missing family who can’t come, preparing a meal to share, and just thinking up what you are going to say when asked “What are you grateful for?” Here are some things to help you manage during the upcoming holiday:
- Be curious about why you are eating. Before you even taking a bite or putting something on your plate ask yourself: How hungry am I? What am I feeling if I am not hungry? Why do I feel that way? What other then eating can I do to satisfy that feeling? Taking on this curiosity about why you are eating can help you manage your eating and your feelings. This year you might want that second piece of pie because you are missing part of your family due to travel restrictions. It is a better use of your time to call them or imagine them healthy and happy then to reach for something your not really hungry for.
- Savor every bite of food. Take your time and really taste your food. The slower you eat the more you are going to realize when you are done eating. You will also enjoy your food more. Let your eating become a mindfulness practice.
- Redirect your “food pushers.” The people who care about you, and who may have cooked for you, may see you eat less than usual and try to push food on you. Politely tell them you are not hungry for more and redirect them to talk about what is going on with them. “I am not hungry for food right now, but I am hungry to know about how you have been.”
- Enjoy your time with family. If it is nice out, go out for a walk or play an outdoor game. Play a board game or watch a show or a movie together, if it is not nice out. Make the focus on fun rather than food.
- Have your favorite dessert. I know it sounds crazy to say this when we are trying to reduce weight but denying yourself your dessert can make you want it more. Denying yourself any dessert makes you want it more and then when you have a less willpower-driven moment you find you have eaten it, and even more then you need. A whole pie instead of a small piece of pie is a big difference! Instead of getting into this cycle, decide on having a little of your favorite, savoring every bite. Try to eat it as slowly and mindfully as you can. You may even find you leave some on your plate.
Wherever you are, be forgiving with yourself. Even if you “slip up” or indulge a bit on a holiday, it is just one day, and you can continue to be mindful about your eating and your relationship with food going forward.
Wishing everyone a safe, happy, and healthy holiday!