Donna's Top Five Thanksgiving Tips
- Write it down. Writing down what you're eating is the best way to stay on track with your weight management goals. If you're not in the habit of writing down what you're eating, consider focusing on a specific challenge area. For example, if you tend to overdo appetizers, write them down. If dessert or drinks are your downfall, write them down. Amping up your eating awareness, even if you're only paying attention for some of the day, is better than blindly noshing and munching your way through the day. If leftovers are a challenge, keep tracking until the leftovers are gone.
- Have a plan for stress management. For some, Thanksgiving is a relaxing, enjoyable day with no work and no worries. But for many of us, it's a day fraught with both work and worry. If you use food to help you cope with feelings, give some thought to how you'll manage your feelings. Thanksgiving is a perfect day to practice reasonable expectations for yourself and others, work on controlled breathing, explore aromatherapy, or put your assertive communication skills to work!
- Think about physical activity. The idea isn't to burn off the calories you're eating. Instead, focus on finding a balance between on food and Thanksgiving Day. For example, challenge family and friends to a game of tennis or bowling on your gaming system. Go outside and toss around a football. Or, put on your favorite music and get up to dance! Maybe you'd benefit from a quiet walk around the neighborhood. Either way, physical activity takes the focus off all the food.
- Be thankful. As simple and obvious as it sounds, taking the time to really experience gratitude is something that's often overlooked in the hustle and bustle of the day. Write down one thing you're thankful for, and post your note where you will see it often as the day progresses. Make a list of your blessings, and share it with others. Give of your time, talent, or treasure to others, or make plan to do so during the upcoming holiday season or next year. Enjoy and share the gifts and blessings you've received this year!
- Keep your goals reasonable. If you usually eat 3 pieces of pie loaded with ice cream and whipped topping, cutting back to no dessert may start off well enough. Often, though, it morphs into an evening of, "Well, I'll just have a bite of yours..." "Well, I didn't have dessert, so eating my kid's leftover pie crust should be okay..." "Well, I haven't really had a plate of my own, so a little sliver won't do me any harm..." We all know how this game ends! It's more reasonable to plan ahead for one piece of pie, with a small scoop of ice cream and a dollop of whipped cream.