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Pumpkin pie, turkey, sweet potato casserole, dressing,… The annual thanksgiving feast is something everyone looks forward to. If you are one of those people who have been secretly loosening their belt after gorging on the sumptuous dishes on the table, you are not alone. At Thanksgiving dinner alone, the average American consumes as much as 3,500 calories. That said, it is not surprising why most people pack on 1 to 3 pounds during the holidays.

Gaining weight over the holiday season is a national pastime. But wouldn’t it be great if this tradition-blessed binge didn’t wreck your waistline woes?

Here are a few tips on how to satisfy your desire for traditional favorites without resulting to a food coma.

Go heavy on the veggies

As compared to carbs and meat, vegetables pack fewer calories. While we are not suggesting that you steer clear from turkey or mashed potatoes, it would be a good idea to take larger portions of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Eat breakfast

Eat before the big feast. Start you day with a small healthful meal so you won’t be starving when you arrive at the gathering. This will give you more control over your appetite and prevent yourself from gorging on a 3,500 calorie meal.

Volunteer to help clean up

Thanksgiving tables are a beautiful and bountiful display of traditional favorites. That said, most of us tend to overeat.

Instead of helping yourself to a second serving, why not volunteer to help the host clean up? This will not only take your attention away from the food, the host will definitely appreciate the gesture. An added bonus, cleaning up will also help you burn some calories.

Plan a post meal walk

Eating less and exercising more is the key to avoid gaining weight during the holidays. Once you arrive at the dinner, let everyone know that plan to take a walk after the meal and encourage others to join. Once you get a few people in on board, it will be difficult to bail out. A brisk walk will not only help you burn some calories, it also a great way to enjoy time with your family.

 

Thanksgiving Day involves a lot of delicious and lovingly cooked food. It also offers a lot of temptation to gorge yourself until you feel sick. Balancing the desire to eat as much of the tasty fare as possible with being sensitive to your limits is a case of mindful eating. Here are some suggestions to help you out.

Accept that this is a day of indulgence. While you may be on a diet or watching your food intake, bringing any sense of deprivation into the day may cause you to overeat out of sheer rebelliousness against “missing out”. Cut yourself a little slack and let yourself enjoy more food than usual on this special day. After all, the next day things can go back to normal.

Be sure to eat properly prior to the meal. Don’t skip any of the meals during the day – eat breakfast and lunch. The only difference is that you may want to eat more lightly than usual. However, skipping eating normally will just tempt you to overeat at the Thanksgiving meal.

Take small amounts when serving yourself. Take one small piece or scoop of everything that you enjoy to begin with. Remind yourself that you can always take seconds! This approach is considerate of the need to avoid waste.

Honor the food. Thanksgiving is a time of giving thanks for the food that is on the table. Think about the contents of your plate and how it was once alive and is now about to provide you with energy and nutrition. Think about all the people whose efforts brought the food to the table, from the farmer to the cook.

Pause. Before you begin to eat, notice everything about the food on your plate. What are its colors, textures, aromas and anything else of note?

Take small bites and chew everything well. This relates back to the previous step––as you bite, savor the things that you noticed about the food when you took time to assess, such as texture and taste. Also, small bites and slow chewing aids digestion, as enzymes in the mouth begin to break down the food for you.

Chat with others. You’re more likely to realize that you’re full before you feel sick if you talk, rather than shovel food into your mouth non-stop! During the meal, make an effort to engage others in conversation in between bites. This shouldn’t be too hard if family members you haven’t seen for awhile turn up with news of the events in their lives.

Avoid wolfing down your food. Eat slowly and savor the food you’re consuming. If you finish everything on your plate, wait a minute. You can tell a story to everyone else, or just sit back and relax.

Take seconds only if you’re still hungry. Repeat the eat-wait-take more cycle until you feel satisfied, but not stuffed. Aim for feeling good, not feeling so stuffed that you can’t eat another thing or feel ill.

Get away from the table. Go for a walk, play football, entertain a child, play with a pet or help clean up! Head out to volunteer for those less fortunate on Thanksgiving. This will keep you from munching just because there’s food in sight.

Congratulate yourself on a job well done. And laugh at everyone who feels so full they can’t move! In fact, you might take a moment to share the secret of enjoying a Thanksgiving meal mindfully with them––just don’t be preachy.

http://www.wikihow.com/Avoid-Overeating-on-Thanksgiving