Balance on Thanksgiving Day
Thanksgiving Day is a full of the 4 F’s – Fun, Family, Friendship and of course, Food. Thanksgiving Day is a favorite Holiday to many people here in the U.S., but believe it or not, there are people who struggle with this Holiday because it is a Holiday centered around food. I had a great conversation the other day with a good friend of mine, as she has battled bulimia for many years now, and she finds Thanksgiving Day a struggle. She personally finds it hard to know what portion sizes to eat, and therefore, eats too much and feels disgusting at the end of her meal. Sound all-too familiar? My heart hurt to hear how this challenge affects her and how it affects many, many people. So we chatted a bit about some solutions that will allow her to still enjoy the 4 F’s on this special day.
1. The government has come out with MyPlate.com which shows a plate broken down into the 5 food groups and the recommended portions per meal for each food group. The food groups and recommended portion sizes are: Vegetables 1/4 of the plate, Fruits 1/4 of the plate, Grains a little over 1/4 of the plate, with the remaining amount of the plate left for protein, and a small portion for dairy. Easily put, make sure half of your plate is filled with vegetables and fruits. If dinner doesn’t serve up fruit, make sure that 1/2 of your plate is full of vegetables. I recommend that the vegetables be raw veggies – or LIGHTLY cooked – veggies.
2. For that half plate of salad you serve yourself up, go light on the dressing, as there are many hidden calories found in dressings – especially the creamy ones! I recommend a good balsamic with oil and plenty of fresh herbs and be sure to eat your veggies before diving in to those tasty mashed potatoes!
2. Before eating, write what you will let yourself eat and include portion sizes. If you decide that eating a piece of pie is in your sights, then draw out the size of pie that you are going to allow yourself and enjoy every bite! Thanksgiving isn’t about NOT enjoying the wonderful foods, but rather, about being selective about how much, and what, you are going to eat. Having a plan going in to the day, and sticking with your plan, will help you enjoy your meal without feeling any guilt. If you feel that you need some support, share your written meal plan with someone you can trust that will help you stick to your plan and not allow you to go astray!
3. Go for a walk after eating. Walking right after dinner will help you burn away some of the extra calories that you allowed yourself to enjoy. Walking is a great way to share both exercise and fun conversations with the family, so get out there and move instead of heading straight for the couch!
4. If you are beginning to feel full, take a few minutes to sit back and allow your body some time. It can take up to 20 minutes for your brain to fully understand how full you really are. Eating slowly will help you eat adequate amounts of yummy food without feeling that “too full” feeling!
With these tips in mind, go out and enjoy your 4 F’s of fun, family, friends, and yes, even the food! If you have some other great food tips, please share! Here is to enjoying a very blessed and wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday.