At Thanksgiving, it is very common for us to consume 1,000 calories or more during the meal and to continue eating way past the point of being full. Afterwards, we feel like a pig (I know I do) and wish we had made better decisions. But this year you don’t have to overindulge and then spend the next day in a sea of shame. Work on this ONE thing and you will be able to enjoy yourself and your loved ones without feeling guilty.
Yes, I know. Americans do not do anything in moderation (especially not over the holidays). But moderation IS the solution to not over-indulging during the holidays.
Let me illustrate my point. I am a fan of Buffalo wings. I love them more than life. When I am home in New York, I frequent Duff’s for my wings. I can devour 20 wings – no problem. But rather than eating what I’m physically capable of, I start by ordering one serving (7 or 8 wings) and eat slowly and purposefully, savoring the hot wing sauce while it rolls down my sticky fingers – I’m trying to paint a picture here! I know I only get this treat maybe two times a year, so I savor it, slowly and deliberately, which helps to keep me from overdoing it. Later on, I know I can walk it off with my feet firmly planted in my snow boots.
During the holidays, meals often consist of starters, tons of sides, main dishes and dessert options that are displayed seemingly to encourage overindulgence. I encourage you to be mindful of your pace. Remember – you absolutely do not have to finish everything on your plate! My clients like to carry water around with them, drinking it often so that they fill up with water and are less likely to overeat.
Holidays are also a time to try new foods. Do not use the cognitive distortion “Well I am on holiday, so I can have all of this.” Whatever you do, do it mindfully and deliberately, noticing what you are eating, enjoying new flavors or savoring your old favorites. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying the food – but over-enjoying it will just lead to shame and regret. Make every last morsel count and I guarantee you’ll eat fewer morsels!
Thanksgiving is a time to slow down and be with family and friends. Apply that same approach to your food choices. And hopefully, wherever you are, the weather will be nice and you can get out and move after a meal. Staying active will balance out your little indulgences.
What do you find most challenging on the journey up to the holidays? Let us know on our Facebook page.
Do you feel like you overeat more than the norm? Click here to learn more about binge eating.