There’s really only one thing that should be stuffed on Thanksgiving Day— the turkey. You don’t have to be, but it’s easy to get caught up in the spirit of the day and overeat. While filling your plate and giving thanks alongside your loved ones is a great tradition, adding some mindful eating tips will help you enjoy the big meal without leaving the table feeling like a butterball.
Why should you consider using some mindful eating tips on Thanksgiving? Because your turkey day dinner can pile up more than 3,500 calories and over 180 grams of fat. Here’s a breakdown of just a few of your holiday favorites:
- Dark and white turkey meat, 239 calories, 10 g fat
- Herb stuffing, 292 calories,10 g fat
- Cornbread with butter, 338 calories, 23 g fat
- Pumpkin pie with whipped cream, 321 calories, 24 g fat
- Pecan pie with whipped cream, 568 calories, 43 g fat
Researchers say your chances of gaining at least some weight over the holidays is good. So, If you don’t want to make antacid the final course of your Thanksgiving meal, follow these five mindful eating tips and enjoy your holiday without feeling stuffed.
Mindful Eating Tip 1: Eat Slowly
Try taking at least 20 minutes to eat what’s on your plate. It takes about that long for your stomach to tell your brain “I’m full.” If you eat too fast, your brain may get the message after it’s too late (after overeating) instead of telling you to stop.
Mindful Eating Tip 2: Go Green
Even though side dishes like mashed potatoes and rolls might be more appealing, focus on filling your plate with vegetables first and take smaller portions of the starchier, heavier foods. You’ll still get to enjoy everything you love, but you won’t have to face the repercussions of overeating.
Mindful Eating Tip 3: Share
If you can’t decide between two different desserts—share with someone else. This will give you both the chance to try each item without doubling up. You won’t feel like you missed out, and you’ll get more quality time with a loved one.
Mindful Eating Tip 4: Call a Timeout
If you have trouble abiding by mindful eating tip number one, you might want to try this instead: Wait before going up for seconds. This will give your stomach time to catch up to your brain by allowing your first plate of food to digest.
Mindful Eating Tip 5: Make Room for Leftovers
Even if your house is packed with people on Thanksgiving Day, there’s a good chance you’ll have leftovers. Rather than overeating, remind yourself that you can always reheat more of your favorites tomorrow.
It might seem strange if you don’t have to loosen your belt a notch on Thanksgiving Day, but your waistline will thank you if you use some of these mindfully eating tips. You’ll be able to enjoy time with your friends and family without any regrets or discomfort.
Do you need help coming up with your holiday dinner menu? Check out the North Ohio Heart | Ohio Medical Group free holiday cookbook for healthy eating recipes!