It’s Thanksgiving Week and the start of the holiday season. Between shopping for gifts, family get togethers and all the food around us we can easily get sidetracked and forget about ourselves and our health. This time of year is definitely challenging for many watching their weight because food is everywhere! But not to worry you can still enjoy and make the most out of this season while maintaining your weight with these tips:
1- Don’t skip a meal! This is a very busy time for many between running errands and shopping for gifts. Sometimes we’re out the whole day! But it’s important to take a few minutes from your day and eat. Not only does this give you the energy required to continue with your activities, but it also prevents you from over eating later on in the day.Now I’m sure that many of you think that you could ‘save’ those calories from the day so you could eat them at night at the party or dinner you’re going to in the evening. Unfortunately, that’s not how our body works. You will actually end up eating way more than if you had a good, balanced breakfast and lunch during the day because your body will be starved. You’ll be so hungry that it would be very hard to eat mindfully, but rather you will indulge on anything you could eat. Tip: if you’re going to a party or dinner at night, have a protein snack around 2 hours before the event. This will ensure that you are not super hungry by the time you arrive and will more likely to eat mindfully and enjoy your meal.
2- Visualize the healthy plate model when portioning foods on your plate. This is a key tip to healthy eating and avoiding weight gain. The healthy plate model is a great tool that basically says to divide your plate into 3: ½ of your plate for vegetables, ¼ of your plate for protein (turkey, meat, beans) and ¼ for starch (sweet potato, turkey stuffing, roll). When you are holding your plate and about to put food on your plate- just pause for a second and visualize the healthy plate model. Trust me by doing this one step you are set for success.
3- Slow down and enjoy your meal. At holiday get togethers and parties there is no shortage of food- between appetizers, the main meal and desserts. And that’s not counting the drinks. To help manage your weight remember to be mindful of your eating. This means to slow down, look at your food, chew it well, and enjoy your meal. When you are mindful of your eating you are guaranteed to eat less and be satisfied. Remember it’s not a race!
4- Choose one dessert that you like and enjoy it. If the dessert is not 10 out of 10 then don’t eat it! If it’s available, the whole year then skip it and choose your grandma’s pumpkin pie. And remember the first bite is the best, the middle bite is okay but not as good as the first, and the third bite isn’t going to taste any better so there is no need for a large portion.
5- Although food is exciting and an essential part of the holidays, try to focus on your health, family, friends, and your blessings in this holiday season and not so much about the food. At the end it’s our relationships that matter the most and that starts with taking care of ourselves and health.
I hope you find these tips practical and useful. Do you have any survival tips you’d like to share?
I would love to hear from you! Happy Thanksgiving and Holidays Ya’ll!
Welcome! I'm Rahaf, a Registered Dietitian with a mission to inspire you to Eat healthy, Enjoy Foods, and Empower you with practical nutrition advice for a happy nourished life.