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Thanksgiving Strategy: Enjoy a Guilt-Free, Comfortable and Happy Holiday w/ these Simple Strategies

The ultimate goal: Enjoy a guilt-free, comfortable and happy holiday! Eat whatever you desire without overeating to the point of discomfort.

The food strategy: Thanksgiving strategy is simply about enjoying yourself thoroughly through portion awareness and giving your stomach some time to empty between meals. That’s it! First, acknowledge that you will eat more today and that is totally fine! Then, practice these simple tips to avoid discomfort: 

  1. Avoid grazing - keep your metabolism humming along by allowing it to empty completely between meals. By waiting at least two hours, you help create a stronger conversation between the hormones that tell you when you’re hungry and full. 

  2. Eat smaller portions of only the richest, most delicious foods. Strategize your foods to make room for the richest, most special things first, nutritious “shoulds” second (or skip them altogether for a day). 

  3. Rule of Awesome - Save yourself unwanted calories by being more discerning about snacks and desserts. Try a bite and decide: is this awesome or is it just ok? If it’s not awesome, don’t do it. Save your calories for things that are extremely delicious and totally worth it!

  4. Aim to be satisfied, not full. Just like your mom always said about drinking water - that by the time you’re thirsty you’re already dehydrated, by the time you decide you’re full, you’re actually overfull. Think of your stomach like a high-powered washing machine. No matter how many bells and whistles you have, if there’s too much clothing shoved into the machine, there’s no way the detergent is getting through all the fabric and getting it super clean. Same thing with the digestive enzymes in your stomach. So don’t overstuff your machinery and you’ll feel ok no matter what you eat. 

  5. Reach for protein and beneficial fat for an afternoon snack. Having a small real food snack in the afternoon that includes protein, beneficial fat, or both, is the single best way to keep you from overeating at night (i.e., leftovers from last night’s dinner, the second half of your lunch, an apple with a tbsp of nut butter). Relying on willpower tom combat nighttime munching is a horrible long-term strategy, and an absolute nonstarter during the holidays when we have so many treats around. Simply eat regularly throughout the day when you actually need calories for energy, and to approach night feeling very satisfied and not hungry at all. You may still have bites or two, and you definitely should, but you’ll take in far fewer calories than you would have if you go into dinner famished, which then just opens the floodgates for an evening of nonstop grazing. 

Thanksgiving Exercise Strategy: Make sure to at least take a brisk walk at some point during the day to help with digestion. Bonus points for getting even just a 5 or 10 minute workout from the app. 

BTW - the strategies above will help you feel and look your best every day of the year. For more info and help, check out my book The Way In, try my AND/life app or take one of my live classes or workshops where you can ask me questions.  

I hope this helps you enjoy Thanksgiving to the fullest. Remember, it’s most important to be kind to yourself today. You have made it through a lot this year and deserve to enjoy yourself & indulge a little. I am so thankful for each and every one in this community. Wishing you and yours the happiest of Thanksgivings. 🍁

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