Feeling good on Thanksgiving, food restrictions and all

November 19, 2018

Let’s face it.  Thanksgiving marks the beginning of a long holiday season when diets are often thrown to the very cold winter wind.  Regardless of the diet you are on or the reason you are changing your eating habits, temptation and pressure will abound.  That doesn’t mean you need to toss all of your hard work out the window and start over in January.

Here are five tips to enjoying this holiday season while continuing to take care of your health.

  1. Have “safe” foods available for the holiday dinner. Talk to the host ahead of time about your dietary needs.  One phone call can alleviate the pressure of eating food that you shouldn’t just to be polite.  Knowing your dietary needs, the host will likely make an effort to have one or two dishes that are safe for you.  Don’t expect them to make a second Thanksgiving dinner just for you though.  It’s about compromise.  Offer to bring a dish to share; hosts usually love that!  If you don’t think you’ll get enough to eat, bring your own plate of food, just like packing leftovers.  Microwave it when the food is served, and you’ll be set!
  2. Be confident in your food choices. Celebrations should make you feel good!  So, eat the way you want to feel.  Eat the foods that make you feel good, and avoid the foods that don’t.  Most people will respect your confidence and commitment to your health.
  3. Bring snacks! Always, always, ALWAYS have snacks on hand.  Thanksgiving can be a long day.  There may be munchies available, but they may not be the best munchies for you.  Bring extra of your favorite snack, and share with your family and friends.  They may enjoy having something new and different, and you will be well on your way to sticking to your diet!
  4. Don’t over eat. This can exacerbate symptoms, especially if you happen to eat something that you shouldn’t have.  Stick to your normal routine as much as possible, including how much you eat in one sitting.
  5. Focus on non-food parts of the holiday. Celebrations tend to be food-centric, but they are about so much more.  For example, Thanksgiving is about time with family and friends and being thankful for all that you have, all of your blessings.  Reflecting on all that you have to be grateful for makes it easy to keep dietary restrictions in perspective.  You can eat.  You have food.  There are safe foods.  You have family and friends to share a meal with.  You have a warm place to gather.  The list goes on and on.

This holiday season, embrace the holiday spirit.  Remember what the holidays are about.  Enjoy celebrations and use the tips above to stick to your diet.  If you need help planning a holiday meal, check out the Thanksgiving Recipe Catalog or talk to one of our food coaches.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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