Thanksgiving and Christmas are the two days a year many of us eat, overeat and then eat even more. We splurge on calories and sabotage any weight loss we’ve already accomplished. Most of us expect to gain about 5 pounds during that last month of every year but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can enjoy the holidays without all the guilt and lose weight or at least maintain your current weight.

Let’s look at some of the consequences when you splurge on those days.

The Consequences of Overeating

  1. Overeating will cause your stomach to stretch. A larger stomach means more food is needed to make you full.
  2. Overeating could leave you with nausea, heartburn, gas, belching and acid reflux.
  3. You’ll feel like a slug and probably won’t want to exercise that day.
  4. If you continue to eat after you are full, it will be converted to fat. In other words… anything past “full” turns to fat.
  5. You will most likely gain weight.

You can enjoy the holiday without all the guilt…

  1. Treat this day just like any other day. Eat a healthy breakfast, drink water throughout the day, and eat healthy snacks as scheduled. When it is time for the turkey dinner, think of it as any other meal… not your last meal!

DON’T: Skip breakfast and starve yourself all day in order to “Save up” for the big turkey dinner.

  1. Get in a some exercise. When you wake up, go ahead and put on your workout clothes. You will be more likely to exercise if you are dressed for it. Tell yourself that you have to “earn” that piece of pumpkin pie.

DON’T: Put on elastic waist banded pants or loose clothing so that you can eat more.

  1. Drink a full 16 oz glass of water before the Thanksgiving dinner to help you not to overeat. Drinking a full glass of water before each meal also boosts your metabolism.
  1. As you put food on your plate, make sure the food doesn’t touch. If you struggle with this. Use a smaller plate. If there is a salad on the menu, eat that first. Choose low-fat menu items such as white meat turkey, roasted sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes. Avoid casserole dishes that are loaded with cream sauces and butter.
  1. Eat slowly. Put your fork down and get a drink between bites. If you struggle with eating bites that are too big, choose a smaller fork. It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to communicate to the rest of your body that it is full so take your time. Participate in the table conversation to take your mind off the food.
  1. When your body sends you the signal that it is full, STOP EATING. There are no more happy plates. If you struggle with this, leave the table. Leave this massive buffet immediately because it is extremely hard to resist eating seconds.  Everyone at the table will understand. Excuse yourself and go take the dogs for a walk while everyone else finishes.
  1. If dessert is offered, wait at least 20 minutes after the main meal before having dessert. Choose fruit or the healthiest option available. If only pies and cakes are the choices, then select a small portion because desserts pack a huge amount of calories into small slices. For example a slice of pumpkin pie is about 330 calories while apple pie is about 410 calories.
  1. Don’t beat yourself up if you make a mistake, let it go. The main goal is maintain during the holidays. If you maintain your weight during this very challenging holiday, then SUCCESS! If you lose weight, AWESOME!
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