Happy Thanksgiving Week! Let's talk about eating over the holidays!
Hello, Friend! Happy Tuesday!
I sincerely hope you’re enjoying this blog! I imagine you’re learning new and insightful things about nutrition, or, at the very least, are entertained by my thoughts! If you would like to help support this newsletter, please consider becoming a paid subscriber for just $5 per month. This contribution makes a tremendous difference.
If you aren’t already subscribed, or would like to upgrade your subscription, you can do so below. As always, thank you for reading!
Happy Thanksgiving week!
First of all, I’m thankful for everyone reading this, or anyone who follows me, or anyone I have or do work with. It means a lot to me to interact with you all, and I appreciate you greatly!
Now, let’s talk about how we can interact with the holidays, still enjoy ourselves and our time with family and friends, and also be mindful of our overall consumption.
This year, I invite you to open your mind to a new way to approach the holidays! If you want to or need to, you CAN do things differently this year and moving forward!
Sometimes we “use” the holiday season to throw our nutritional or health efforts out the window. Or at least use certain days to do so.
So, let’s be more mindful of that!
This is an old image, and today is not November 11th, but you get the idea… anyway, I think it brings perspective to the holiday season as a whole and allows us to think differently about the holidays:
Even if these numbers aren’t accurate in terms of what you celebrate or events you have going on, the idea is real. Are we actually putting a hold on ~40 days of effort, or putting a hold on what we’re working on, because of ~11 meals?!
Let’s decide not to this year!
Okay, great, that’s all set… now, how do we do that?
Here are some tips for how to tackle Thanksgiving, and the rest of the holiday season…
In my experience in working with individuals on their food, I imagine there are mainly two ways that we can think about these holidays:
Option 1: Eat whatever you want for the holiday meal, really enjoy your time with anyone who you may be with, indulge a little extra in foods you may not have that frequently, all while remembering that one indulgent day/meal will not throw off your progress towards your goals!
Option 2: Stick a little closer to your plan, while still enjoying some flexibility!
-Aim to include foods you know are healthy and make you feel good… proteins, veggies, fruits, etc! From there, fill your plate with smaller portions of the more calorically dense options you want. Eat that and then consider going back for more if you're still feeling hungry. This way we can get some of the food we need as well as some of the food we want!
-Allow for a few treats! For most of us, restricting completely is not the answer, and allowing a few bites of deliciousness can allow us to feel satisfied and also keep us away from overindulgence.
-Really tune in to your fullness levels and aim to stop eating when you get to 80-85% full.
Which of these approaches might be best for you to use?
Consider where you’re starting from, how you’ve approached the holidays in the past, and decide what’s the most appropriate for you.
And, know this, being more mindful, even if things don’t go exactly to your plan, it is likely better than it would have been without that extra mindfulness. And remember, the next meal or day can be your opportunity to do things differently or get “back on track” towards your goals.
What about the times outside of the actual holiday meals??
Leading up to the event, eat regularly, focusing on proteins and veggies. When you start the day on your food plan, you are more likely to stick close to it at events.
Consider having a nutrient dense snack or meal before you go to/start the event. Then, you’ll be full of healthy stuff and less likely to snack on things if you’re not hungry.
If there is an appetizer session, try one of each thing you want. Maybe have one more if it was extra tasty. Then, move yourself away from the table, if needed.
Setting yourself up for success to tackle events can be super beneficial!
Lastly, what about alcohol??
Consider how many alcoholic beverages you want to have that day!
Is this a 1-2 drinks kinda day, or more like 4-5? How long will you be there? Do you have to drive home? Taking these pieces into account before you even leave the house is helpful to make sure you don’t overdo it.
Make sure you throw in a few waters every now and again to make sure you’re staying hydrated and to help your body process the alcohol.
(And for the record, I never condone driving while under the influence, and would recommend that anyone who is driving decides not to drink at all or very carefully monitors their intake.)
Give these strategies a try and see how these work for you. And if you find that you do end up eating more than you’d have liked, take a breath, you did not “ruin” your progress in one afternoon. Just get back to your regular food plan the next meal or day!
Each meal is a new opportunity to make a choice.
You never have to earn your food.
Staying active is always helpful!
And regardless of exactly how or what you eat for the holiday, I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!
As always, thank you for reading!