Mindful Eating on Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day is just around the corner. Let’s face it:  Diets and feasts don’t exactly go together as well as things like mashed potatoes and gravy or apple pie and vanilla ice cream. So what can you do to keep your plate a little healthier this holiday?

Before we start with the binge-eating tips, I just have to throw this out there. And I searched… and searched… and searched… for a different answer somewhere. Say it ain’t so! But all experts agree. The average person will consume over 4,000 calories and 200 grams of fat on Thanksgiving Day. Yikes — and that doesn’t even account for all the leftovers!

So what can we do?

  1. Start with a healthy breakfast. Just because it’s a holiday doesn’t mean you have to have cinnamon rolls and extra sweets to start the day.
  2. Control your portions and balance. Instead of having multiple servings of the carb-loaded goodness, try a little bit of everything. That way, some greens and lower-cal food ends up on your plate as well.
  3. Don’t feel pressured to eat everything. You won’t necessarily have room for everything, and might not even like everything. There’s nothing wrong with being a “food snob” – feel free to pick and choose.
  4. If you have a sweet tooth, be sure to leave some room (and calorie intake) for dessert.
    In case you’re curious, there are some “worsts” of the best. While my all-time favorite pecan pie sadly comes in at roughly 500 calories a piece, apple pie has about 100 less. Even better options are pumpkin and sweet potato pie, without about 300 calories per slice.

That “food coma” that everyone has after the big meal? It’s true, turkey does contain Tryptophan, the chemical that makes you sleepy. But because it’s mixed with everything else that you’re eating, it really doesn’t have that big of an effect. The food coma feeling is really the result of your body working overtime to digest all that food!

If you’ve resisted the urge to overeat for a while now, no one’s forcing you to give in. After the fact, if you’re curious, I found this Thanksgiving Calorie Calculator that tells you how long you’ll have to walk to burn off everything that you ate and drank. Don’t let this ruin the fun of a food-inspired holiday… just be smart about it!

Happy holidays!

~E

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