November 23, 2011

Kristen, like so many of us who are trying to be portion aware this month, is a wee bit concerned about the holiday obstacle course in the six weeks ahead.

Here are five ideas that she’ll use to help navigate Thanksgiving. If you’re worried about your holiday intake, try these solutions:

Challenge: Friends and Relatives who want you to eat more of the foods you don’t want, and insist “It’s a special occasion!”, “Just this once?”, or “What’s the big deal?”

Solution: Since Kristen is getting married in May, she has an easy out: she bought a dress that she needs to fit into in a few months. She can respond with a simple, “I’m getting married and I’ve got a goal so no thank you, but enjoy it for me!”

For those of us who aren’t getting married, and for those times where a “No, thank you!” just doesn’t put an end to the badgering, consider why this is important to the person who is pushing the issue. Are they looking for an excuse to overindulge, and are looking for your “permission”? Or are they rapid-metabolism Ritas who just don’t understand what you’re trying to do? Have a little empathy instead of letting the calorie pushers get your goat.

Challenge: How can I be sure to fill up on the right things, and not the stuffing, gravies, and mashed potatoes?

Solution: Kristen plans to fill two plates worth of food. Her first trip to the Thanksgiving buffet will be to fill up on salad and vegetables.  Once she’s done, she’ll have a glass of water, relax, then take another trip for the more caloric stuff.

Challenge: I don’t want to bring out my measuring cups and measure everything; how can I make sure I don’t overdo on portions?

Solution: Instead of a traditional dinner plate, use a salad plate and fill it once. There are so many delicious foods at Thanksgiving, dinner plates are often towering with food. Don’t have a sparse, sad plate, just use a smaller one!

Challenge: My family loves to wear their Thanksgiving pants. They are big and roomy, and built to expand. I don’t feel as full when I wear clothes like this. 

Solution: So don’t wear clothes like that! Wear a tight-fitting dress or pants and you’ll think twice about indulging. Or, wear control-top nylons or Spanx under your clothes. Not only will you look better, you’ll be less likely to overdo.

Challenge: There is nothing healthy at my family’s Thanksgiving. Absolutely nothing. It’s all pies and starches, and every vegetable is swimming in a butter sauce. Should I just eat before I get there? 

Solution: Gosh, no! That’s no fun, and somewhat insulting to the host. Be a good guest and BYOV, that's right, bring your own vegetables. A crudite platter is always a welcomed appetizer, and so is a side of brussels sprouts or roast butternut squash. If you want some vegetables, bring them!

I wish everyone a happy and healthy Thanksgiving. Let's be thankful for our friends, family and the fact that so many of us are faced with the challenge of abundance this weekend.

See More: 5 Vegetable Recipes for Thanksgiving

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