No one wants to feel deprived during the holidays, especially when there are so many yummy dishes to choose from. Here are five tips from our nutrition expert Madelyn Fernstrom on how to eat what you want during your Thanksgiving dinner without feeling like a stuffed turkey once it's over. Go ahead, dig in.
1. Make a mental adjustment: Focus on the social part of Thanksgiving, and the pleasure of seeing friends and family. Look at the food as an enjoyable and important part of the day, but not the main event.
2. Take a look at all the foods you can choose from before serving yourself: Barter carefully, and select those of most "taste value" to you. You're not obligated to consume everything on the table!
3. Be a taster: Just a spoonful is usually enough. It's the first bite or two that gives us the most pleasure.
4. Don't starve yourself all day in preparation for a giant meal: This plan always backfires. We all think we're saving calories for the big dinner, but truly, we just fuel a larger appetite, since we're hardwired to eat more to make up for any deficit after limiting our food intake. So, eat modestly, and at least once (if your meal is in the early or mid-afternoon), or twice (if you're eating in the later afternoon or evening).
5. Take a 30-minute walk before or after the meal: Now, 30 minutes isn't going to burn off a slab of pecan pie, but what it will do is keep you connected to a plan of moderation. What's best is a walk after the meal to help digestion, and to get some closure to the meal, but any time is great.