By Fat Chick to Cover Model
The Great Big Problem: Dieters get frustrated with how to handle the abundance of food during the holidays. For example, Thanksgiving is this week and you maybe asking “ What should I do on Thanksgiving if I want to stick to my diet?”
The Amazing Solution: Why not enjoy the best of both worlds? Understand that you can stay committed to your healthy lifestyle and still have fun this Thanksgiving without the guilt by following these 5 easy steps that have worked for me and hundreds of my clients and patients.
Step 1: First, be open to changing your mindset from one of a ‘dieter’ to one of a healthier living person. Remember to be kind to yourself and that holiday celebrations are times where your focus should be on maintaining the weight you have lost so far, which is a great accomplishment by the way, and enjoy the holiday gatherings with balance and moderation with your friends and family, not so much on trying to lose during this time. That’s probably a totally different mindset than what you have had in the past. It’s to remember that losing weight is not about dieting. It’s about a total lifestyle change and living like healthy people live. Healthy people don’t diet during the holidays. But they do maintain control and incorporate healthy strategies so that they can still enjoy the holidays while staying committed to their goal.
Step 2: Diary your workouts in your planner for the entire holiday week and make it a goal to workout everyday. You may even want to slip in a light workout on Thanksgiving morning by incorporating a brisk walk in the neighborhood, if weather permits, or do an exercise from your favorite video. Working out will fuel you with extra endorphins, the feel good hormones that will give you willpower and energy. If you are not use to working out everyday, than at least stick to your regular routine. Your metabolism will be super charged and your body will be able to burn the extra calories from the Thanksgiving dinner fast and easy!
Step 3 – Stick to eating healthy the entire holiday week and make the Thanksgiving meal your ‘cheat meal’. Make sure to drink plenty of water too. About ½ of your currently body weight unless otherwise directed by your doctor is a good protocol. On Thanksgiving morning, don’t skip breakfast; eat something light as well as having a light mid-morning snack so that you won’t be famished at dinnertime.
Step 4 – Visualize what you will eat in advance. Above is a picture of what a healthy Thanksgiving plate looks like. Of course the foods offered at your gathering may differ, but the idea is the same. Fill ½ of the plate with veggies, ¼ of the plate with turkey or other protein, and ¼ of your plate with 2 small servings of your favorite starchy traditional favorites. If alcohol is in the plan, have one drink only and fill your glass the rest of the evening with fruit infused flavored water or naturally sweetened iced flavored green teas. With this plan you are sure to not feel deprived.
Step 5 – When choosing a dessert, choose small ½ servings of two of your favorites. Choose desserts you wouldn’t ordinarily eat unless it was Thanksgiving, like pumpkin pie or Aunt Wilma’s triple layer blueberry, strawberry, and peach cobbler. Or, you may just be brave and go for the healthiest choice available. Regardless, keep the serving small and eat it slowly and savor every morsel.
The truth of the Matter: Thanksgiving and holiday meals are more about the people than the food. Focus more on making sure you have a thoughtful and engaging conversation with everyone at the event. Stay away from stressful conversations by choosing to focus only on positive uplifting topics. Remember the reason for the season, which is way more important than the foodanyway. 🙂