Thanksgiving Day is known for the mammoth amount of food served at dinner. The turkey alone could feed a dozen people, but add in the mountains of mashed potatoes, piles of rolls, massive dishes of casseroles, the boat of gravy and the endless pie, and there is no wonder that people feel as if they have gained 10 pounds by the end of the meal. Some people do not mind binging for one day, but not everyone wants to erase months of hard work in a single afternoon. So how can you avoid gaining weight on Thanksgiving Day?
Wear Tight Clothing to DinnerMany people base whether or not they need to lose weight on how their clothes fit. If you want to make sure you do not overeat, wear tight fitting clothing to dinner. You will become uncomfortable more quickly in tighter clothing, and you will be less likely to keep eating once your jeans become too tight at the waist.
Eat a Protein and Fiber-Heavy BreakfastGiven that they know they are going to eat a huge dinner, many people skip breakfast on Thanksgiving Day. This is a terrible mistake if you want to avoid gaining weight from the holiday meal. Skipping meals early in the day will make you far hungrier in the evening and much more likely to both overeat and more likely to focus on eating unhealthy things such as an extra slice of pie or more rolls. Instead, have a breakfast that is high in fiber and protein. This will keep you feeling full until later in the day so you will not be starving by dinner.
Cook With Health in MindIf you are the one hosting Thanksgiving dinner, you will have an easier time avoiding the things that are most likely to cause your weight to climb the scale. When you are cooking, small changes can make a huge difference in health without sacrificing much or any taste. For example, limit the amount of cream you put in the potatoes or substitute evaporated milk instead of heavy cream. Sauté vegetables in olive oil instead of butter, and scrape the fat off the top of the gravy before serving it. These little changes will go a long way.
Skip the Skin and ButterEven if you are not the one cooking the turkey, you can still make your own portion a little healthier at Thanksgiving dinner. Cut the skin off of your slices of turkey in order to make a big difference with a tiny action. The skin of the turkey may be delicious, but it is absolutely packed with fat and calories. Similarly, limit the amount of butter you add to your rolls or skip it entirely. Most people serve rolls at Thanksgiving that are already melt-in-your-mouth rich. Still, people insist on slathering them with as much butter as will fit on the bread. Either skip the butter entirely or make a tablespoon of it last the entire dinner. You will actually be able to taste the rolls for a change, and your waistline will thank you as well.
Workout the Morning of or After DinnerWhen it comes to weight maintenance it really is calories in and calories out. As such, if you know you are going to eat a huge meal for dinner, get a good workout in on Thanksgiving morning. Focus on calorie busting exercises and fat burning routines. If you know you will not be able to make it to the gym that morning, be sure to go the morning after Thanksgiving. Your best bet, of course, is to do both, but that is not always possible with family members in town or travel schedules. So, make sure you get at least one workout in around the meal of the year.
Get a Good Night’s SleepSleep really does influence every part of your day, and your eating habits are no exception. If you do not get enough sleep the night before, you are more likely to overeat at Thanksgiving dinner and snack during the day. You will not register as quickly that you are full and will end up feeling like you are one bad move away from looking like that viral picture of the python who tried eating an alligator. A lack of sleep will also make you less likely to make healthy choices. When you are tired, you have less willpower to refuse that second slice of pie, and you are more likely to crave high-calorie foods such as fat and sugar. None of this is good for fitting into your jeans.
Limit Your Alcohol IntakeAlcohol is all but guaranteed to make you do something stupid. People across the world agree on that fact. Sometimes, that something stupid is your eating choices. When you drink, you are less likely to make healthy choices because your willpower is lower. Even if you do manage to hang in there, however, alcohol itself is not a good idea if you are watching your waistline. Alcohol is filled with calories, and a single glass of dry wine often contains more calories than a candy bar. Sweeter wines like champagne will be even higher in both sugar and calories. If you want to avoid blowing up like a balloon, either limit yourself to a single glass of wine or stick to water entirely.
Eat SlowlyYour stomach fills up before your brain does. This is irritating, but it is true. It takes roughly 20 minutes for your brain to register that your stomach is full. If you are eating quickly, you will pound down a lot of food in those 20 minutes and then spend the following two hours groaning about how you ate too much. In order to avoid that, eat slowly. There is no need to scarf down your meal as fast as you can. There is more than enough food for everyone, so eat slowly and savor the taste. You will likely enjoy the meal more and be happier in the aftermath.
Avoiding weight gain over Thanksgiving does not have to involve complete abstinence from your favorite foods or refusing to touch the pumpkin pie. It only requires a little bit of self-control and some common sense. So enjoy the meal of the year, just a little more sensibly than usual.