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How to Survive Thanksgiving When on a Diet

It’s that time of year again and the holidays are right around the corner. When on a weight loss diet, this can be a time when we feel anxious about maintaining our eating habits and not gaining weight. Here are 5 big tips on how to enjoy a wonderful and healthy Thanksgiving with family and friends instead of thinking about the numbers on the scale the next day:

Feel good and confident about your body
Whether you are hosting, or being hosted for the festive dinner, take time before the meal to feel good about yourself. Wear an outfit that you feel good and comfortable in, and look your best. Feeling good about your body will serve as a reminder of the hard work you put in to be as beautiful as you are and will help you stay in control of your plate.

 Stuff the turkey, not your face! by maintaining your daily eating routine
Many people “save the calories for later” when they know a large holiday meal such as Thanksgiving dinner is coming their way. However, starving yourself throughout the day while fantasizing about that delicious sweet potato dish is not your best bet. It is important to maintain your daily eating schedule and not to skip meals in order to prevent you from stuffing yourself and overeating at dinner.

The “I’m just tasting” syndrome while cooking
You might be surprised but those little nibbles throughout the cooking process can add up to a good deal of unnecessary calories that you don’t count on as being part of your weight loss diet on Thanksgiving. One of the problems with these calories is that we tend not to think of them as much because we don’t consider them as a full meal or snack. The solution is quite simple: Avoid cooking while hungry and take the time to eat a proper and healthy meal.

Set clear guidelines for yourself for that holiday dinner
Most of us do well when setting clear guidelines, rules, and know what to expect from certain situations. As the smell of that delicious turkey is being spread around your home, take a few moments to set guidelines for your holiday dinner. It is important that while doing this you keep in mind setting guidelines that don’t over-restrict you, but allow you to feel good about yourself and remain in control of yourself and your diet. One example is deciding you are only sticking to one serving of sweet potato mash while allowing yourself to eat as many servings of salad as you wish. Another example is waiting 15 minutes after you finish your plate to consider whether you are really hungry for seconds. The sky is the limit, and the more honest you are with yourself, the more successful this tool will be for you.

 Avoid the “What the heck” syndrome
One of the hardest parts when on a weight loss diet, and even when just eating mindfully is forgiving yourself when things get a bit out of control. Truth of the matter is it happens to most dieters. The trick is acknowledging that moment, forgiving yourself, and continuing with your diet plan in order to avoid a downward spiral. Holiday dinners are prone to become one of these moments when you say to yourself: “Oh, what the heck!” If you do end up eating more than you planned during Thanksgiving dinner, acknowledge your behavior, forgive yourself and remember you still have a chance to save the calories and avoid overeating leftovers the next day.

 You are all set! Keep the “Big-5” in mind and have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!