One more year is almost gone, and we’re about to enter holiday season again — which means that we need to be a little more careful not to gain more than a few pounds! Especially now at Thanksgiving, with lots of delicious food and of course the leftovers too…
For most of us, the meaning of Thanksgiving is feasting! The real meaning is to gather in unity and express gratitude — to give thanks with the abundance of our hearts, it’s a time of healing and of sharing our strength and happiness. Yes, of course we need to eat to replenish and nourish our body. And we want to enjoy it too! But do we sometimes forget to eat consciously and joyfully?
Most people think that during holiday season they can allow themselves to eat a little more and gain some extra pounds, and then start losing the weight again after Christmas. Some people do the opposite, and are extra careful in what they eat, even adding extra workouts or walking a few miles more to avoid gaining any weight.
Do we need an extreme approach like this? Actually, if you pay a little more attention and follow a few simple tips, then you’ll be able to enjoy your meals and not gain more than a couple of pounds.
Here’s some tips that may help:
1 — Eat sitting up straight, and not standing up. This will help you to increase awareness, and a good posture will help you to naturally breathe properly and it will support your digestion. And most importantly, you will eat more consciously.
2 — Start you meal with protein and salads, rather than potatoes or bread.
3 — At least one-third of your plate should consist of vegetables and fruits, which have a higher water content. This will help you control your hunger, while getting adequate nutrients.
4 — Use a small and colorful plate! You may consume on average 30% less food just by changing plate color and size.
5 — Save your calories for your main Thanksgiving meal. Reduce your complex carbohydrate intake, eat moderate fat, and focus on lean protein sources. If you are doing exercise then try not to skip, but also don’t increase the time that you spend working out — this will increase your hunger more!
6 — Don’t punish yourself, this will actually give you more stress. The joy of eating with your family and friends will be so much more if you are conscious that the food you are eating is becoming a part of you.
7 — Choose water first over alcohol or sugary drinks. If you choose to drink add some water or double the ice. If you like a couple of drinks then try to drink when your stomach is full, not on an empty. This may help you consume less.
8 — Concentration on positive thinking is like a prayer. So give real thanks to who cooked the food, and the farmers, workers, animals or plants that have provided it for you. This will actually put your mind in a more positive state, which can even help you eat less and digest much easier too.
9 — Don’t think that you have to eat everything in one time, and never again. Instead say “I can eat more, but I don’t want too”. Make it your conscious choice to stop eating and postponing to eat later when you feel really hungry.
10 — After a high calorie meal it’s not a bad idea to go a little longer without eating, for example a 15 to 16 hours fast during which you don’t consume any calories.
I always being thankful for… whatever you want to say in that moment! I am so grateful to be able to teach and learn at the same time, and to do what I LOVE to do.
Happy, healthy Thanksgiving!
Ayda Erso, Nutritionist (Dip.C.N., Dip.S.N.), Master Trainer (CPT ACE, NCSF, CanfitPro), Registered Yoga Teacher, Founder, Health Angel Nutrition, Fitness and Wellness, Founder, SMS (Stability, Mobility Strength) Intuitive Training System