Make a plan to enjoy the delicious food and traditions of the season, while leading the way for your family to avoid that over-stuffed, after-meal feeling!
1. Plan food for the whole day. I have been guilty of only planning the big meal and getting stuck eating chips and dip for lunch. Have a light lunch and healthy snacks ready, including fruits and vegetables to offset the oncoming heavy foods of the holiday meal.
2. Don’t skip meals, as this usually leads to that ravenous feeling and eating way too much to even enjoy the meal.
3. Set a good example for your kids by eating slowly and savoring the time together. Your body needs a certain amount of chewing and swallowing to feel full, as well as about 20 minutes for the “I’m done” feeling to kick in. If you take big bites, eat quickly, and chew less, you end up taking in more food without any more satisfaction.
4. Eat every food you want, just use reasonable portions. This is a great skill to model for your kids. It shows them how to include special foods without overindulging and feeling too full.
5. If you are hosting, have ‘To Go’ containers ready for guests to take some leftovers home. This will help cut back on the temptation to eat Thanksgiving dinner three days in a row. The rule in my house is if it is there, I will eat it, including pie for breakfast. So it’s important for me to find a way to have the food exit the house or it will find residence in my waistline!
6. Include an active tradition in your day such as a morning or evening walk, outside game or activity, or check out your community to find a Turkey trot or other group fitness activities.