In my opinion, two of the greatest fashion inventions: stretch pants and putting spandex in denim so jeans can stretch. It's great that we have clothing that can work with us on those days when we over indulge.
On Thanksgiving day, it is very easy to over do it on the food gluttony, and if it's just once year, then heck why not go for it! However, if you're one though who'd like to partake yet want to avoid feeling like a stuffed bird or feel like you have to unbutton your stretchy jeans, here are 7 tips to help you enjoy the food cornucopia that is Thanksgiving.
- Feed yourself with gratitude before food: It's easy to forget, but Thanksgiving is not about food, it's about thankfulness. The bounty of food is actually just another symbol of the abundance we have in life. When you nourish your soul first with appreciation of all the good and plenitude you have, you may find yourself filled up with so much joy, there might not be any room to over indulge on the food.
- Eat breakfast: There is somehow a reasoning that if you avoid eating breakfast, you can save those calories for eating later. However, your body will just get hungrier as the day progresses and you will end up eating way more and faster because deprivation mode has kicked in. Eating breakfast is a healthy way to start the day and keep your body level so you don't end up gorging out of starvation later.
- Workout in the morning: A good way to burn calories and start the food gluttony day is to go for a morning workout. If you have family and friends in town visiting, go on a workout together and get some exercise and bonding time, a 2-for-1. A great exercise with a group can be a walk, a hike, a run, football or kickball in the backyard, or biking.
- Eat slivers versus slices: This tip which I've outlined in more detail here is about portion control yet getting to enjoy a bite of everything on the Thanksgiving table. Of all the things I've learned over the years about food consumption, this one tip has helped me more than any other because I get to enjoy and never feel deprived.
- There will be leftovers: When your brain knows that there will be plenty beyond the present moment, it will help curb that mental temptation of, "If I don't everything now, there will be none left." You don't have to eat everything today. Leftovers tomorrow are good too. You can space things apart and still get to enjoy all.
- Pace yourself: It's easy to pounce on a whole bunch of food early on and then continue to eat during the day with no breaks to give your body time to digest. This requires a small amount of planning, but you pretty much have an idea of what food acitivities you will be bouncing around during the day, so plan out how much and when you'll eat what foods.
- Savor your food: Chew slowly and experience the food you are enjoying. One of the things about Americans is that we tend to use the spoon like it's a shovel, and we just scoop food in as fast as we can without actually savoring the food.
For example, in Europe, 4 hour dinners are not uncommon because people eat slowly, converse, laugh, and really relish the flavors and textures of the dish they are experiencing. Plenty of time and love went into the preparation of your Thanksgiving meal, so equally take the time to savor the food and the time with your loved ones.
So, there you have some tips that have helped me over the years. What are some tips that help you enjoy Thanksgiving without feeling over stuffed?