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The countdown is on…the food frenzy will begin in less than 24 hours. Chances are you’ve started visualizing the array of dishes that will be lining your family’s Thanksgiving table: a heaping bowl of stuffing, a tray of buttered mashed potatoes, a casserole dish with something layered with pumpkin, nuts and brown sugar that smells more like dessert than a side dish.
No matter what mealtime your group gathers on Thanksgiving (late lunch, early dinner), breakfast is the forgotten course of this holiday. In fact, many people pass on their typical morning menu in order to save on calories, not to mention save on stomach storage.
According to Katherine Tallmadge, a registered dietitian and op-ed contributor to LiveScience, this is a huge no-no. She claims that by the time your great uncle carves the turkey, you’ll be “ravenous”, “completely irrational” and you will “eat like crazy.”
But isn’t that the point of the day? (Joke. Okay, semi-joke)
Rachel Begun, a registered dietitian nutritionist in Boulder, CO agrees with Tallmadge. “Starving yourself all day in the hopes of eating less calories is a strategy that often backfires,” she states. “When we arrive to the Thanksgiving table starving, we are more likely to eat anything and everything in sight, making it likely to consume more calories in one sitting then if we ate mindfully throughout the day. “
Begun’s advice: Eat balanced meals in the morning and early afternoon that contain protein and fiber. “They are both excellent for helping keep us feeling full throughout the day so that we come to the Thanksgiving table moderately hungry and not famished.”
Begun also advises planning an activity between courses. For example, take a stroll around the block with grandma or kick your brother’s butt at bowling on Wii. “Being busy will help delay the onset of eating.”
And lastly, she suggests limiting your alcohol intake. “Alcohol contributes a good deal of calories and our bodies do not register a feeling of fullness from liquid calories,” she explains. “Also, when we drink too much, our inhibitions go down and we are likely to overeat.”
Not to mention text the person you had a crush on in High School who you just saw for the first time in 10 years!