Holiday Diet Tips
Thanksgiving Day is an annual national holiday celebrated every fourth Thursday of November in the United States. It’s a chance for families to gather together, to feast and to enjoy being with one another. Tempting feasts are often part of all Thanksgiving celebrations. The time when we look forward to turkeys, football, parades and foods.
Sadly, it is also during this time that it is especially critical to keep ourselves in good emotional shape. But isn’t holidays all about sharing food with friends and family? It’s when we get to eat delicious stuff we don’t normally eat on a daily basis. This even makes it a lot harder to take smart eating choices on a day that’s all about food.
So here are a few tips you can avoid turning to food for comfort and practice discipline during this self-indulgent holiday of the year:
Check For Signals of True Hunger
The key is awareness. Letting your body get to the point of famished is dangerous. Going past the point of hunger to ravenous sets the perfect scenario for overeating — eating beyond the point when hunger is satisfied. Retrain yourself to recognize feelings of hunger and respect them. Eat when you feel them and stop when they stop. Don’t eat when you’re not hungry. Don’t think about what you want to eat. Feel what you need to eat.
Learn To Listen To Your Body
Do you feel hungry after waking up in the morning? Then eat. Not hungry after you wake up? Then don’t eat. Just because someone offers you food or it’s technically “time for a meal” doesn’t mean you have to eat. Eat if you’re truly hungry. Otherwise, wait until you are. This is a great way to reduce the unnecessary stress that can arise from thinking you have to do something just because it’s “that time of the day”. Eating when you’re hungry, rather than when you’re supposed to, gives you greater flexibility in your daily schedules. Eating whenever you’re truly hungry means less stress, a better relationship with your body, and no more random restrictions on when you can and can’t eat.
Stop Labeling Food
We humans have a tendency to put things into categories. With nutrition we do much the same thing and people love to demonize certain products, macro-nutrients (either fat or carbohydrates usually), gluten, milk, and many other things over the years. Forget “good” foods and “bad” foods. If you decide that a food makes you feel bad, just stop eating it! There is no need to label the food as bad, you can simply abstain. It’s important to recognize that certain foods are healthier than others and it’s important to eat a balanced healthy diet most of the time, but banning less-than-healthy foods is NOT the answer.
Focus on food
Taking the time to focus on the food you’re eating is harder than it sounds. During conversations at the Thanksgiving table, you can be easily distracted. These distractions make it hard to register your body’s cues of fullness and reduces the taste of food which can leave you with making poor eating choices. Practice mindful eating and you will enjoy your food more and you’ll be able to exercise better control over what types of food you choose and how much you eat.
Remember that one unhealthy meal is not going to cause you to gain weight, just like one healthy meal doesn’t cause you to lose weight fast. Your overall eating pattern (what you eat on a daily basis over the course of weeks and months) is what counts when it comes to long-term health.
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