Dieting on Thanksgiving!

So for those of us in the USA , Thanksgiving is fast approaching! For those of you joining us from other parts of the world, your thanksgiving might have either passed or not be celebrated, so let’s assume this particular blog can be used for all holiday’s celebrated! In the USA Thanksgiving is a time to pretty much sit around, eat food and watch football. For most people it’s a time to pig out and have no regards for eating. For some of us though, it’s a dreaded time of the year when you can’t eat anything because it’s not diet approved yet it all smells and looks soooo yummy! For those of you who fall under this category (me!) please heed the following advice as how to not break the diet cycle on this coming holiday season!

For me personally, dieting is a chore. It’s something I have to think about 24/7 or else it won’t work. If I so much as stop dieting for all of one meal, I’ve screwed my whole week up! Losing those last ten baby pounds are just the worst! Our family holidays are filled with yummy goods including a ton of appetizers before the main meal! So when it comes to those things my rules of thumb are this:

-take one SMALL appetizer plate and when picking out your choices you only get to put as much on the plate as will fit without stacking the food! You may not throw this plate out, you may only use THIS plate. Each time  you ‘load it up’ you must mark on your plate (I tear a little rip in the paper plate so know one even realizes what I’m doing) and this counts as a notch on your
-You may only have a certain number of trips to the appetizer area. Each time you load up your plate, you must mark on your plate (I tear a little rip in the paper plate so no one even realizes what I’m doing) and this counts as a notch on your trip to the appetizer area!
– Always remember, THIS IS NOT YOUR MAIN COURSE! Don’t eat like it is!
-Try to chose things that are on the healthier side, of course give into those cravings though, treat yourself as every diet deserves a little splurge
-If you’re following a very strict diet, speak with the host and ask what sort of food they are planning to have around, if there is nothing you can eat to follow your diet, ask if you can bring a dish to pass of something YOU can eat (I don’t know anyone who would object to more food!)
-If your celebration will have too many yummy foods for you to say no, have a healthy snack before you  go! That way, when you get to the party your tummy will be full and you won’t be starving trying to resist all the yummy treats!
-Drink, drink, drink, drink!!! Always have a glass of WATER in your hand, it will help fill you up so you can enjoy the snacks, resist temptation and staying hydrated J If you want to feel a bit fancier, bring some sparkling water, even the flavored sorts are often 0 everything!
-Above all: ignore the remarks from the big fat Aunts and Uncles about how “the holidays’ are for eating!” and “don’t insult Jimmy by only eating one of his cream cheese puff pastries!” Simply brush them off them off with a silly remark as to “Oh, I’m saving my food to be able to ship it to cousin Betty who couldn’t make it this year..”

Once you’ve managed to slip past the appetizer monster, the main course is right around the corner. Keep a few basics in mind here also:
-Water is your best friend!
-Turkey isn’t that bad for you as long as you avoid the skin and don’t drown it in gravy. Try to take a bigger portion of turkey and a lesser portion of the buttery mashed potatoes.
-Only get one SMALL serving of each item, do not go  back for seconds, no matter how hungry you are, you can always have a HEALTHY snack once you get home.

If you think about it, the recommendation for eating healthy is six small meals a day, so ideally, you could eat a small healthy breakfast, a bit of appetizers (of course, trying to find the healthier ones), a small helping of thanksgiving dinner, a bit of dessert and then a small healthy snack before bed. If you plan your portions right, the day might not be that difficult to get through after all. Oh dessert you say? We didn’t discuss how to sail through dessert. I think pumpkin pie, or many pies in general are the staple of all Thanksgivings. And there’s no way around them, they’re fattening! They are often paired with cookies, cakes, cream puffs of any sorts. Try something new this holiday… avoid dessert all together! Ask your host if you could please bring a dish to pass for dessert. I suggest doing something like a fruit salad, top with a dollop of fat free whipped topping and call it a day! If you provide something you’re more likely to eat it and knowing that if you plan your day properly you can still have a snack before you tuck yourself into bed at night is all a comfort as you pass by the pumpkin pies. However, if you just cannot resist the pumpkin pie, have a small sliver and enjoy every bite!

Above all, enjoy your holiday and if you don’t follow any of these rules keep ONE thing in mind: no nibbling allowed! Nibbling is the worst thing you can do to yourself on any given day. Eat your selections and enjoy them, do NOT nibble, because when we nibble we lose track of how much we’ve had and then all the sudden as we’re having just “one more bite of potatoes” we realize how much we ended up having as our button flies off our jeans and into Uncle Norms Whiskey drink! Ladies (and gents!), nobody wants a pant button in their drink!

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