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Monday - Friday 6:00am - 8:00pm 150 St. John St, Portland, ME
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Thanksgiving Guide to stay on track

Thanksgiving Guide to stay on track

( 3-4 minute read )


It’s that time of year again! Where food, delicious, indulgent food is all around us, all the time. Here’s what I am going to cover today:

How to handle ALL the options at holiday parties

How to deal with not eating ALL the apps/platters

How to approach multiple parties in a day or weekend

How to navigate desserts

How to incorporate alcohol

How to manage seconds & thirds

First things first, although these holidays / gatherings are special occasions, the food isn’t TRULY exclusive. You can have most of this food any day, any time if you really wanted it, so quit thinking this is your only chance to have it. Practicing balanced eating does not restrict foods any day or any time of year. You can have pumpkin pie in July if you want. This isn’t your only chance to eat this food! Putting ANY food on a pedestal is the #1 mistake you can make. This gives WAY too much power to food and you know what happens when you do that? You lose control, you overdo it and then feel horrible, both physically and mentally. So start by giving ALL food an equal playing field : )

Second, use foods you are super drawn to as ideas for meal prep/snacks! That stuffing really calling your name? Cool, have a little bit of it and make a point to look up a healthy recipe for it to meal prep with next week! Can’t stop with the cheese & crackers? Well, take a step back and get yourself some cheese and crackers to portion out next week for snacks. Like I mentioned above, the more you avoid something or see something as ‘bad’, ‘special’ or ‘off limit’s’ the more you’re just going to lose control when it’s in front of you. Remind yourself it’s just food and you can always have it.

Third, how to manage multiple gatherings in one day or weekend? Honestly, just be selective! Think of this as you are choosing the all star team of foods. Questioning something? Pass on it. Only choose things you know you %100 love and will make your heart and belly happy. Also, just continue to remind yourself how you want to FEEL after it all. ‘Oh I’m glad I stuffed myself on food I didn’t really enjoy’ said no one ever. Small portions of your elite line up of foods, drink lots of water and make one mindful decision at a time.

Lastly, tying into all of these instances, SAVOR your food! Chew slowly, really enjoy each bite. Put your fork down between bites. Try not to hang out by the apps/platters when you’re catching up with your relatives/loved ones. Grab some of your faves and go sit down. BE MINDFUL.

With baked goods / desserts, same thing goes, have a LITTLE bit of everything! Be picky with what’s the MOST appealing to you and have a few bites of each. I don’t know about you guys but every time I’ve gotten a huge dessert plate about half way through I think to myself, ‘this was too much’ but then eat it all anyway. Now, getting a few bites of each thing I love, satisfies me without feeling like I overdid it. If there’s something you REALLY like and still want more of, take some to bring home and follow the same principles the next few days. You’re allowed to fit treats into your everyday life, just be reasonable with your portions & account for it. I find that allowing this to happen prevents binges because you don’t feel like that time is your ONLY chance to eat that thing. 

Cocktails and drinks are tricky ones but it can be done! My main tips with these are:

  1. Stay hydrated, drink 1 glass of water for every alcohol drink. This will help keep you hydrated and less likely to overeat.
  2. Avoid sugary mix ins. Mix hard liquor with seltzer, flavored sweet fizzy water, crystal light, club soda or diet soda. You’ll save TONS of calories here.
  3. Try to limit heavy beers, sure have a couple of your favorites but again, the calories add up quickly! Switch to light beers if you want to continue drinking.
  4. Have fun. It’s just one day/night. You’re allowed to get a little loose with your family/friends. The tips above are for those who really want to stay the course as much as possible.

As far as getting up for seconds and even thirds, think to yourself, ‘do I really NEED this extra food right NOW?’, ‘how is getting this extra plate going to make me feel later’. Again, take some home and if you still want it later or the next day, then have it. Simple as that!

Lastly and most importantly, don’t stress. Make decisions that’ll make your future self proud while still making your tastebuds happy. BE PRESENT with your family, you don’t want to look back and remember how stressed out you were about food. It’s one day, the food isn’t exclusive, we’ll all be alright ; )

I hope this was helpful and as always, click that reply button if you have any questions or comments. I always love hearing from you! Now go eat some delish food and enjoy every second of quality time with your loved ones <3

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