Understand, Thanksgiving is a day that diets are shunned, even by the experts. It’s one of the few times out of the year we spend time with our families and attempt to get along. How important is your diet if you’re not happy and you are angry with everyone else around you for eating? Part of your health is your happiness, minimizing the stress levels and putting fewer burdens on your body. In fact, Thanksgiving can be a great day to learn how to eat properly.
You’re waiting for the other shoe to fall; I can understand your skepticism. It is true with so much food prepared you can learn to eat small meals throughout the day. No, I am not talking about munching on carrots and celery. Eating is all about balance and portion. I am going to share an analogy my brother shared with me, whom is also a fitness model.
Imagine you’re a prisoner in a dark cell; you are fed sporadically, having no idea when the next meal will come. You start putting food away storing it for later, much like your body does…as fat. Now like clock work you are fed regularly every few hours, you know the food will come, so you stop storing the food and eat what is brought to you.
Here is the second analogy to the story about portions. Have you ever put a big log on a campfire? It takes some time to burn and usually the fire only uses up part of the log. When you put smaller sticks into the fire, they burn up quick. The wood is the fuel for the fire as food is for the body. Your system cannot burn up large amounts of food, so it will have left over energy stored as fat. This means smaller meals are most likely going to be used up during the natural course of the day.
Back to your Thanksgiving Dinner; what to pile on your plate? Let start with the size of the dish, remember the log, and use a dessert plate to minimize the portion sizes. When it comes to what food to eat, get a variety that includes protein, carbohydrates and fats. This could be some turkey breast for the protein, string beans or other deep colored vegetable and some fruit for your carbohydrates. Other options include a couple of large spoonful of yams, sweet potatoes, stuffing or mini potatoes with skin. For your unsaturated fat, eat some nuts, olives or cook with unsaturated oils. Drink lots of water to keep your stomach from feeling empty and help contribute to your overall health.
Approximately two hours later comes the second round. Get a roll, put some turkey breast on it with cranberry sauce some tomatoes and lettuce. From the vegetable dish put some color on your plate. Make your pie eating a separate meal. Continue this type of eating throughout the day. Be deliberate and put your food on a plate and try not to just graze at the table. Mothers are known to eat over 1200 calories from grazing on their children’s food throughout the day.
Don’t forget to do some exercise, it is the day of “turkey ball.” If your family does not have a traditional football game scheduled call up some friends or go to any open field on Thursday and you will find a game in progress. A nice run is always a good way to build up an appetite and burn off some extra dessert calories. By the way, smile and be grateful, Happy Thanksgiving!