When you think about Thanksgiving, what are the first thoughts that pop into your head? A long weekend, time with family, Thanksgiving Day Parade, college football and sleeping in? Or do they follow more along the lines of- pumpkin pie, stuffing, turkey, drinks, afternoon naps, dessert, potlucks, overeating, leftovers, second and third helpings, and the inevitable weight gain? If your first thought is weight gain you may be like most Americans. In fact, according to ABC News, “The average American will consume a hefty 3,000 calories on Thanksgiving at dinner alone. With drinks, appetizers, and desserts the total calorie count can be closer to 4,500.”
So oftentimes, the ‘holidays’, which in reality are only 5 actual days are drug out to be 2 months worth of ‘holidays’.
We as a society and a culture assume that over the holidays we will overeat, gain weight, overindulge, and then have to ‘restart’ come January 1st– a New Year. It’s a vicious cycle that comes every year!! Here are my tips for you to stay happy and healthy this Thanksgiving, and throughout the year.
My homework for you is this:
Grab a pen and paper and set a timer for 5 minutes. For those 5 minutes, I want you to think about your favorite Thanksgiving traditions. Those you remember as a child, foods that you LOVE to make, dishes that you always look forward to enjoying. Make sure this list doesn’t ONLY consist of food. There are more to the holidays than pie and stuffing. However, I do want you to think about those foods that you cannot picture Thanksgiving without.
Take this list and these thoughts and reflect on what’s really important to you. This year might look a little different than previous years, but really try and incorporate those fond memories and things you truly look forward to each year into your holiday weekend. You don’t need to appease your in-laws by eating their green bean casserole or sweet potato pie. Just because you ALWAYS bring the cranberry sauce that you absolutely despise, doesn’t mean you have to!
Indulge in the foods that you love, and pass on those that you simply add to your plate ‘just because it’s part of the buffet line’. Calories add up quickly, so you might as well enjoy the ones that you put in your body!! And per usual, move your body, get outside for some fresh air, play a game, just do SOMETHING that keeps you active and takes your mind off of those Tupperware containers in the fridge filled with all of those leftovers. They’ll be there tomorrow and the next day and the next- I promise!
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