Fall is a great time to focus on weight loss and fitness. The crisp weather is perfect for outdoor walks and hikes, and there are roughly eight months until you can show off your new and improved body in a swimsuit. It’s all dependent on how you approach the holidays, especially Thanksgiving.
If you’re struggling to lose or maintain weight, Thanksgiving might be a holiday you want to skip. While you already know there’s nothing wrong with the occasional healthy indulgence, Thanksgiving is an entire day (sometimes an entire weekend) filled with hot buttered rolls, savory stuffing, sweet potato casserole, and pumpkin pie.
Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be a daunting holiday for those on a weight loss plan. By entering the holiday with the right mindset, you can enjoy Thanksgiving without letting it swallow all your goals.
Weight loss through mindful eating
Before you start slapping a bit of every dish on your plate, make your choices mindfully. Pause to ask yourself whether you really want that item on the buffet or if you feel obligated to pile it all on.
Thanksgiving also means enjoying dinner with your family and friends. While you may get distracted while talking and eating, it is important to pay attention to the tastes and textures of the food and eat slowly. This will help you register the moment you become full, instead of mindlessly eating until your plate is clean.
Make simple substitutions
Simple swaps can make a huge difference in calories, sugar and fat content, aiding in weight loss. Here are a few substitutions you can make for a traditional Thanksgiving dish:
- Replace sugar with a sugar substitute like Stevia in baked goods.
- Try plain yogurt or fat-free sour cream in creamy dips, mashed potatoes, and casseroles.
- Replace fat-free chicken broth to baste the turkey and make gravy.
- Cook with skim milk instead of whole or 2 percent milk. This could save you up to 70 calories per serving.
Eat before the big meal
You read that correctly, eat before the big meal! If you think eating nothing all day until dinner is a great idea, think again. Showing up to Thanksgiving dinner with an empty stomach is a recipe for overeating. When you start to pile food on your plate, you may have a hard time making mindful choices because you are so hungry. Be sure to eat your regular breakfast and lunch before you show up for the feast.
Stay active during the evening
Instead of sitting on the couch after dinner, offer to help clean up. This will get your steps in and burn some calories, plus your host will be grateful! You can even invite family or friends to go for a post-dinner walk. Not only will you burn off some of the calories you just consumed, but you can enjoy quality time with your loved ones outdoors.
Thanksgiving shouldn’t be a holiday that sets you up for failure in your weight loss journey. Rather, it should be a holiday filled with friends, family, and thanks. Don’t enter the evening with super-strict rules or plans to deprive yourself. By concentrating on your goals, making thoughtful choices, and practicing mindful eating, it is possible to end the day feeling thankful and not just full.
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Searching for a way to lose weight and better your health? Garcia Weight Loss and Aesthetic Centers can provide customized plans, personalized supplements, and constant support to get you looking and feeling your best. Book your no-cost consultation today!