Stuff the Turkey, Not the Tummy

Jessica Small

With the holidays approaching rather quickly, it is important to be mindful of our eating habits. During the holiday season, there is typically more food readily available and accessible, especially sweet treats and desserts for everyone. This makes it quite easy for us to eat more than we should. However, eating more could add unnecessary pounds and fatigue. We must have self-discipline during the next few months and watch our food intake. Here are a few tips I’d like to share as a reminder to not overdo it when it comes to holiday eating.

One rule of thumb to remember when fixing your plate at Thanksgiving is to only eat 75% of your food. It isn’t always good to clean your plate. Leave 25% on your plate as a snack for later or even the next day. You want to be full but not so full you can barely move or get up. This will cause extreme fatigue and lack of energy. Try to make a good estimate of the portions you put on your plate. One suggestion is to stick to eating one to two tablespoons of all foods you eat during the holidays.

Another tip that is helpful is to grab a light snack a few hours before your holiday dinner. This will help promote self-control and help exercise caution when you see all of the delicious foods on the table. People tend to eat a lot more when they are eating on an empty stomach, versus eating light prior to a meal. Some examples of light snacks before your meal include: a piece of fruit, handful of peanuts, or one cup of popcorn. I highly recommend this strategy particularly during the holidays if you are trying to maintain or manage your weight.

My final tip is an important and easy one. After you eat, put on your dancing or walking shoes. This is a great way to incorporate a little physical activity during the holidays. It doesn’t have to be a full workout, but perhaps moving for 10 minutes with loved ones can help burn off some extra calories. You could walk around in your neighborhood, walk up and down stairs, or throw on some music and dance the night away. If you have children, that is a huge plus! Adding in a little time to be active can help you feel good after eating those yummy desserts and will benefit your overall health.

The holiday season may look somewhat different this year, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun and enjoy ourselves. Let’s remember to make wise decisions when eating during the holidays and practice healthy eating habits. Remember, it’s much healthier to stuff the turkey rather than stuff our tummies this Thanksgiving. Wishing you and your family a safe and healthy holiday season!