It is OK to Overeat on Thanksgiving
So... It's that time of year again.
I remember when I used to HATE the holidays, especially Thanksgiving. The days leading up, I would have anxiety attacks. I would be depressed, knowing that the food would ruin everything. I would focus more on the food and calories than just spending time relaxing with my family.
I would go into the holiday, thinking that I'm only going to eat a certain amount. I even tried to track my meals. It fails EVERY TIME. You have family members asking "what's wrong, you don't like the food?", or, "come on, it's the holidays, have an extra slice." Then before you know it, all your planning goes out the window. You're on the couch, pants unbuttoned, fighting to keep your eyes open as you slip into a dreaded food coma. I've been there. WAY too many times.
If this sounds like you right now, I hope these tips can help you!
1. Just tell yourself it's OK.
I know this is the hardest thing to do, trust me. How can everything be ok when you basically just threw all your hard work out the window? Well, you haven't. ONE day won't make you fat. You may weigh yourself the next day (which I recommend you DONT), and you'll be up 5-6 pounds, maybe even more. It's NOT fat. It's water. Get back to your normal routine the next day or day after, and it will take about 1 week or less (depending on your body type) to get back to "normal". You should be spending time with family and friends, not worrying about weight loss.
2. Load up on proteins and greens first.
I'm one of those people that will legit get 3 plates of food, and eat until I can't breathe. I'm also one of those people that if I tell myself I won't eat 3 plates of food, I'll end up eating 6. When I try to restrict, it backfires, HARD. Therefore, instead of restricting how much I eat, I'm going to choose what I eat first. I'll load up on my proteins and greens on my first plate. Then, if I choose to have a second or third plate, I will already feel kind of full from the proteins and veggies. Plus, I will feel better mentally, knowing that I ate some vegetables. Ya feel me?
Instead of turning into a holiday food vacuum cleaner, eat that first plate of protein and veggies, wait maybe 15-20 minutes, and THEN dig into the carbs. I'm not saying to NOT eat the carbs. But by waiting that little time, your body has the chance to let your brain know that you're getting full. So you may even end up eating less than you would have if you didn't wait. 20 minutes may save you thousands of calories. So TAKE A BREATHER. (I put it in caps to remind myself this too, because I definitely turn into a food vacuum cleaner).
4. Smaller portions.
So you made it through dinner, and now it's time for the desserts. This is where it usually turns into a disaster for me. I’ll literally take a piece of everything. And they’re not single size servings either. I’m talking about taking like 1/2 a pie, 10 cookies, probably 20 different pieces of candy/chocolate, ice cream, basically 2-3000 calories in just dessert. I have the BIGGEST sweet tooth. I can eat cake frosting right out of the container (ya, I know). So, my tip this year, for you guys AND myself, is to start with smaller portions FIRST. I’ll get a smaller plate (so it looks like I’m eating a lot), and I may get a piece of everything, but I’m going to make sure that they’re SMALL sizes. Then, repeat step 3, and TAKE A BREATHER, for 20 minutes, and maybe go back for more if I’m still hungry.
5. Leave the leftovers.
If there’s any food leftover, DONT TAKE IT HOME. Simple as that. Leave it at the house your at. If you’re hosting at your place, give that food away, force people to take it home with them. Either way, get it AWAY FROM YOU.
6. Most important - don’t let what other people think get to you.
I’m always so scared what my family will say. When they think I’m not eating enough, they ask why, when they think I’m eating too much, they comment on it. I know some of you may have the same experiences with your families. But don’t let it affect you. Your family may not know your goals, they don’t know what you’re thinking or how those little remarks may make you feel. They don’t know that you’re looking at the pumpkin pie, thinking how many calories are in a slice and how many miles you’re going to have to run to burn it off. For them, they can eat a slice and be done. But for some of us, we have the urge to eat the whole pie. If your family teases you about what you eat, or how much/little you eat, just ignore it. Some of the things they say can be mean, and can affect you way more than they realize, trust me, I know. Either tell them to stfu or just ignore what they say.
I wrote this list for you guys and myself. I’m in the same boat as some of you. The most important challenging thing for me - is to breathe. Not stuff myself until I want to die. But eat some food, take a break, and maybe go back for more. What’s the thing you struggle with the most? Comment below or send me a message! Let me help you! Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving (:
Your Coach, Natalie