No word of a lie: I gorged myself so hard last thanksgiving that I actually had to roll myself into bed at 8:30. I was so sick. My body was having such a difficult time processing everything I had just ingested that I couldn’t bring myself to do anything else. I was in so much pain I barely slept through the night!
The food was amazing. But why couldn’t I just save some for leftovers? I went all out, and this year I promised myself that I wouldn’t put my body through that pain again! I’ve made a lot of healthy changes in my life over the last year, and avoiding the post-thanksgiving food coma is going to be another one of them.
I’m still going to enjoy dinner. I’m just not going to ‘enjoy’ it to the point of laboured breathing.
So here are the strategies you can use to avoid over-eating. These are actually great ideas for any big gathering in which you know there will be a lot of food!
Firstly, do not ‘save room’ all day by not eating. What you should be doing is eating light meals all day leading up to dinner, so that your metabolism is fired up and ready to take on more. Never let your body think you’re starving!
Secondly, plan your activity for the day strategically! I’m going straight from my workout to dinner. This way, I maximize the usefulness of this amazing meal. My body will be at a point where it needs to be nourished and replenished.
Thirdly, don’t give into temptation (unless your family is only twisting your rubber arm!). My family has the classic ‘guilt you until you take seconds/thirds/fourths mentality’. But remember: you’re not eating for anyone else, you’re eating for you. You’re eating for your goals (if your goal is to be in pain later then go for it, haha!).
And of course, just remember what Thanksgiving is really all about. Nowadays when we refer to the holiday, we don’t discuss giving thanks. We talk about all the food we are going to eat. Remember that the purpose of the dinner is also to enjoy being around your family and friends. It’s also a good time to think about the things that you’re grateful for.
If you are reading this but in your mind you’re like “you know what? I’m prob still gonna stuff myself”, try taking a digestive enzyme before dinner to help you break down the big meal. If you had every intention of sticking to the plan but your mama’s mashed potatoes were too good to resist, drink peppermint tea after dinner. Peppermint tea helps with digestion and I often drink some after any heavy meal.
I wish all my fellow Canadians a Happy Thanksgiving!
We have so much to be grateful for.