Now, that being said, there are ways to navigate the Thanksgiving meal that will result in less bloating, discomfort and regret:
- Spend today and tomorrow eating lightly. Smoothies, soups, salads, cooked veggies. This is pretty easy. On Thanksgiving day, just go with smoothies, tea and hot water up until meal time. Get yourself in a place of hunger before enjoying a feast. Go for a good long walk in the morning.
- Skip the dinner rolls. Really, at a meal where you are likely eating more than normal filling up on bread is a waste of calories and carbs.
- Go for what you really love. I love the turkey, my mom's stuffing (traditional) and the homemade cranberry sauce my daughter makes the night before. I can eat sweet potatoes and other vegetables anytime. So I focus on just those three things--nothing else hits my plate.
- Start small. Yes, I like several portions/helpings--that's what makes it feel like feasting. So I start off with a couple of bits of turkey, a tablespoon of stuffing and a couple of teaspoons of cranberry sauce. I can fill my plates three or four times with that much and have eaten a normal-sized plate, yet feel no guilt.
- Skip the alcohol. I often take flavored sparkling water with me so that I'll have something festive to drink. This year, I'll probably go with pomegranate or cranberry or orange flavored La Croix.
- Skip the appetizers, unless you're nibbling on a few veggies, nuts or olives. Nothing more.
- For dessert, consider eating just the pumpkin in the pie. I love pumpkin pie, but with most of them, the crust is just a soggy holder for the pumpkin custard. So just leave it. No reason you can't just eat the filling.
- Have a nice cup of tea to end the meal, no eggnog or coffee filled with cream and sugar. Save those calories for separate treats.
- Walk before the meal, walk after. A great time for fellowship, contemplation and appreciation.
- Regret nothing. Even if you make a poor choice, practice self-love by not beating yourself up over it. And take some alka seltzer with you. I usually have one just as good form after a feasting meal.
With gratitude-- Lisabeth