For Thanksgiving Dinner, Be the Last Winner
Author: Dr. Brooke Weitz
My little 3-year-old likes to keep track of who finishes their meal first. He always calls out the “first winner” and “second winner” and continues on until everyone has been accounted for. After guiding patients in weight-loss and body composition goals for the past couple decades, here’s some of my top tips for surviving this Thanksgiving and holiday season!
1. Be The Last Winner
Eat slowly and finish your plate last. We all know that it’s easy to get ahead of ourselves. We want our satiety to catch up with the rate we’re eating. The slower we eat, the less we eat. A tip for this is to chew three times the amount your normally do (this is great for your digestion too!), and to avoid drinking fluids during the meal. This is super important for optimal digestion.
2. Spoil Your Appetite
Fill up at least 50% before you show up for dinner. That is, on healthy things, obviously. Load up on veggies, roughage, protein, and healthy fats so your eyes aren’t bigger than your stomach when you’re serving yourself and chowing down!
3. Stay Hydrated!
Start hydrating NOW. The goal is 1/2 your body weight in ounces daily. If you need to stop reading this and go get yourself a big glass of water, do it!
4. Don’t Be A Rabbit
Bring something you can fill up on. Do NOT rely on others to meet your dietary needs. Make sure you bring a plate that you can enjoy. Here’s the rule: Bring something that, if that’s the ONLY thing you can eat at the entire feast, you’ll be ok. So, don’t bring a veggie plate, because you’ll be super disappointed. And, you’ll look like an ungrateful rabbit nibbling on veggies while others are diving into the carbs and giblets.
5. It’s About Connection
Make the meal about the experience and connection with those you love – and those you might not love but are spending the holiday with nonetheless. If your focus is on the experience of gathering, giving, and being thankful, the meal itself and gorging yourself with food is less emphasized. Learn something new about an older, wiser relative or friend.
6. Build In Sweating
Plan an active family activity – one where you could break a sweat. Whether it’s a tradition of family football, baseball, a long walk, or an aggressive game of charades: MOVE! And if you’d prefer to sit on your bum bum (another saying borrowed from my 3-year-old), then sneak in a work out before the meal. Did you read the word “before”? Because I used it for a reason. Get that sweat on before the event; you’ll thank yourself.
If you really want to set yourself up for guilt-induced success: sign up for a Turkey Trot or fun run. Announce it to your friends and invite people to join you. It might not be your favorite activity, but you’ll be in good company and, in addition to getting you sweaty, it goes to a great cause.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING Y’ALL!
This article was guest written by Dr. Brooke Weitz. Dr. Weitz is a Naturopathic Physician at SageMED Integrative Clinic in Bellevue, WA. Her clinical focus is a Naturopathic approach to healing pain on all levels. Check out her Instagram here!
To read more about how to eat healthy during the holidays, or how to get back on track following Thanksgiving, check out our post on “The Basics of Eating a Cleansing Diet.”