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How to Avoid Overeating This Year at Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving marks the first battle of a losing war against a balanced diet for the entire food-heavy holiday season. But don’t blame yourself. After all who in their right mind can refuse decadent pecan pies and savory turkey?

But it is important that you control your impulses as well as your portions. A vast majority of people never lose the weight they gain during holiday season, as per a recent study conducted by National Institutes of health. This is primarily due to overeating rather than little indulgences.

But don’t worry. These tips will make sure that you enjoy this year’s Thanksgiving without overeating or losing out on the tasty treats.

Tip 1: Honor the Day

Thanksgiving is about gratitude and not thinking about ‘missing out’. Remember the day is not about eating but indulging in your senses, friends, and family.

Make sure you remember this while sitting at the table. Chat with others on the table and find out more about them. This will prevent you from shoveling food into your mouth.

Tip 2: Think Leftovers and not ‘Last Chance’

It is very easy to gorge on tasty food if you think there is no more. You might find it hard to resist tasty temptations when they are available only during Thanksgiving. However, there are always leftovers. Think about the enjoyment of eating leftovers the next day when you are hungry.

Tip 3: Don’t Skip Meals

You are bound to overeat if you go to a Thanksgiving dinner hungry. You might think it’s smart to skip meals to make room for the decadent treats later. Don’t. This always backfires.

You will feel overly hungry throughout the day, causing you to shovel food into your mouth without tasting it. You will in effect miss out on the flavors, taste, and texture. You will also overeat to compensate for the day’s fasting.

Tip 4: Cut Yourself Some Slack

Its Thanksgiving and you are bound to indulge. The point is to indulge sensibly. Do not hold yourself back from the treats only to give in at the last moment and binge-fest.

Instead, follow the three bite rule. Research indicates that food is truly enjoyed during the first couple of bites. Hence, be consciously mindful of what you taste and enjoy.

Tip 5: Stay Hydrated

It is very common to mistake dehydration for hunger. Sometimes, your body just needs a glass of water and not that slice of pie. Be sure to drink lots of water throughout the day to avoid this mistake.

Also, if you are really serious about not eating too much then drink a glass of water or herbal tea right before the dinner. It will take up space in your stomach and prevent you from overstuffing. Plus, tea is calorie free and helps you lose weight.

Tip 6: Small Portions

There is so much on the table that you cannot stop yourself from heaping your plate. Understand that most of the hunger is in your anticipation of the food you are about to taste. Hence, take small portions of everything and arrange it nicely on your plate.

You can always take second helpings later. Typically, people are full even before they finish their first helping. This trick prevents food wastage as well as overeating. Pause before eating to take in the various smells, textures, and colors on your plate.

Tip 7: Vegetables First

Most people do not eat enough vegetables. Use this opportunity to get your vitamins. By starting with vegetables first you leave less room for indulging on apple pies and eggnog. Veggies are rich in fiber and nutrients that gives you a feeling of fullness and satisfaction.

Tip 8: Skip Alcohol

Alcohol gets absorbed quickly into the system and increases your appetite (don’t drink like those fools did in the movie Hangover!). You are more prone to overeating when drunk than without. It lowers your inhibitions towards mindful eating and calorie counting. It is best to skip alcohol completely this festive season especially during Thanksgiving.

If you don’t want to give up entirely, you could limit the quantity to a glass of red wine to go with your turkey. Remember, alcohol can add to your calorie intake in a big way. You might rather ingest those calories by indulging in other yummy treats and keep alcohol for another weekend.

Tip 9: Dress to Eat Healthy

If you really want to avoid over eating this Thanksgiving, then you need to start from the rehearsal room. Do not make allowances for your stomach by wearing something loose fitting. Instead, adorn that form fitting dress or get those denims out of the closet.

A waist clinching belt or Spandex works well too. Your stomach will signal your brain when it has vanquished all its capabilities to make room for more food. That is your cue to stop eating.

Tip 10: Leave the Table

There is a lot you can do on Thanksgiving when you are finished with the dinner. Entertain a child, play with a pet or help to clean up. You could also head out to volunteer at a shelter helping those who are less fortunate. You have better chances of preventing over indulgence when you stay away from appetizing snacks.

By moving away from the table you can concentrate on other things and people around the house. It is difficult to resist munching or nibbling when there is food in sight.

Tip 11: Don’t Eat to Please Others

Learn to say no when you are full and do not want to eat something. You do not have to increase your waistline just because Aunt Carol made her famous pumpkin pie.

We live in a society where food is truly appreciated when you eat seconds and thirds. However, you do not have to worry about hurting anyone’s feelings. There are a lot of ways you can firmly say no to food and overeating.


These tips will help you steer clear from the temptation of overeating at this year’s Thanksgiving dinner. In case you do fall prey to the temptation and eat more than you should, do not browbeat yourself over it. Simply, grab your trainers and go for a run the next morning to work off the excess calories.

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