For most people, Thanksgiving is a time of giving thanks, getting together with those you care about, celebrating, sharing, and eating lots of food. Enjoying a Thanksgiving meal can mean consuming foods and beverages that you do not normally eat, but can also be a time of overdoing it and spending the following week trying to make up for it with dieting and exercise. Following are some ideas on how you can have a healthy and happy Thanksgiving.
Eat a Large Breakfast
Do not starve yourself before the big meal. Although eating may be a huge part of this day, you are more likely to be able to think clearly when it comes to making the best food choices if you are not starving.
Make Smart Food Choices
Thanksgiving is often seen as a time to stuff yourself silly with all kinds of foods, both healthy and unhealthy. While it does not hurt to eat most foods in moderation, eating a whole bunch of unhealthy items may cause you some regret. When you wish to indulge, choose moderate amounts of those foods that you do not normally get to enjoy except around the holidays, such as a special dish made by a family member. If you're in charge of making the meal, provide a few healthier alternatives to others who may also be concerned about their food choices.
Savor Your Meal
By eating slower, you are allowing time for your stomach to feel full so that you will ultimately eat less. When you eat slowly, you will enjoy the taste much better. You are also able to join in the conversations more when you are not shoveling food in your face at high speed.
Think Seconds Beforehand
When filling your plate, remember that you can always go back for seconds. This should help you to take smaller portions at the start. Then you can slowly enjoy your plate with a chance of becoming full. If you are not still hungry when done, you can avoid seconds. Just knowing that they are available ahead of time can help you to eat less.
If you will be at a large gathering for Thanksgiving, keep tissues and hand sanitizer handy. While you do not need to go overboard on “germ-phobia," taking precautions can help to prevent illness.
In the same manner, if you have a cold, be sure to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing to avoid spreading germs. A tissue can be thrown away to reduce the spread of illness. Use hand sanitizer afterward so that you do not spread germs through touch.
Invite a single person or another family to join you for Thanksgiving. When you invite someone who has no one else to spend the time with, this is truly a blessing for both them and for you and your family. Thanksgiving is a great time to share, so share your joy with others.
Include Others in Meal Preparation
When you let the kids help you in the kitchen, it provides additional family time and helps ease your burden. If others ask what they can bring to the meal, allow them to bring one of the side dishes to additionally ease the stress and burden of rushing around and preparing so many dishes.
Do not expect too much from others or events on this day. Reduce your expectations and accept what is. You are only setting yourself up for unhappiness if you expect too much from yourself, the meal, events, or others. Forgive any past or present wrongs, or at least let go of resentment and anger, even if only for a short time. Live in the moment, and appreciate that your friends and family are near you right now, and know that this is enough.
While most of the focus of the day turns to food, family, and friends, the true meaning is in the name of the day. Remember to take time to think on all of the reasons you have to be thankful and happy. Although the sharing of the meal with significant others in your life is a reason to be thankful, there are sure to be many more reasons that you might not consider on most times. Take this opportunity to dwell on the positive and all of the blessings in your life to make the holidays a happier time.