Foodie Blogroll Ad Code

Friday, November 12, 2010

Nervous About Holiday Eating?

With only thirteen days left until Thanksgiving - the biggest stuff-yourself-silly holiday in any calendar year - people everywhere are feeling the squeeze. We all know we'll overeat on Thanksgiving, and often times we have very little control over the food available, as it's usually an amalgam of whatever the family decided they should bring. At most family buffet-style Thanksgivings, the sodium and saturated fat is high and the whole grains and healthy foods are sadly MIA. We tend to stuff ourselves to the gills and lie about in a food-coma for the rest of the day, bemoaning our lack of self control even moreso when we next venture onto the scales. It's a tradition, and in American culture, tradition seems to trump...just about everything else.

So how can you maintain long-standing family traditions without ruining your diet or filling your body with unhealthy, processed foods?

Well, first of all, there are a few things to remember. One, its okay to splurge every once and awhile. Pick a few days throughout the holiday season that you know, already, that your calories will be higher than average. Let's say on Thanksgiving and Christmas, perhaps at a key party or two. Don't starve yourself the day before or after, or even the day of. Eat at least 1200 calories of healthy, nutritionally dense foods daily surrounding those "splurge" days, and make sure that your meals are balanced, containing a whole grain, a fruit or vegetable, and a protein. Do your best to maintain a workout routine, even if it's just a thirty minute walk per day. It's good for you!

Secondly, on these splurge days, watch your portion size.
You'll be able to taste more and feel better if you take micro-portions of each item that you'd like to try. That means one to two bites of each dish that you want, and don't get seconds if you feel satisfied. You don't have to eat until you're stuffed! The advantage of these micro portions is that you will feel satisfied more quickly, and also that you will have the opportunity to sample everything...so that Aunt Whoever isn't testy when you decline her green bean casserole. No one likes to hear the "I can't, I'm dieting..." excuse on Thanksgiving. And even better, very few things will do any real damage if you have them in small quantities. Go ahead, have a bite or two of pecan pie! It's a splurge day, and tomorrow you can go back to your regularly scheduled anti-anxiety diet programming!

Depending on where you are located and how your Thanksgiving festivities go, you could always take a leisurely after-lunch walk on Thanksgiving, which would help with digestion and also boost your metabolism! If nothing else, at least help out with the cleanup, because anything is better than wallowing on the couch, feeling gross.

Now, if you have more control over the Thanksgiving feast, as in, you are the host and your family is similarly interested in healthy, whole sorts of foods, then you could always try and start some new traditions. Perhaps you could confer with your guests beforehand and work out some healthy alternatives to mix in with the traditional dishes, or maybe, guests-willing, you could create your own clean-eating or whole-foods Thanksgiving menu! Sweet potatoes could be roasted instead of filled with sugar and marshmallows, green bean casserole could be made with organic, less processed ingredients, mashed cauliflower could replace mashed potatoes, and etc! There are lots of healthy alternative recipes out there, just one google search away.

Essentially, a few changes in how you eat can be highly effective, and if the family agrees, you can make a few changes in what you eat as well. Either way, when those splurge days come, don't let yourself worry, fret, or feel nervous. One day of bad eating wont kill you, so relax and enjoy yourself! The holidays are insane enough without feeling guilty about Thanksgiving feasts!

-The Calm Cook

No comments:

Post a Comment