The table is set, the turkey is in the oven, and delicious aromas are filling the air. If you are following a weight loss plan, Thanksgiving may be the day you have been dreading for weeks on end. You may have even found yourself wondering, “How is it possible to avoid overeating at the holidays when the smell of carbs, butter, and sugar are wafting past my nose?”

If you have been working hard to lose weight and stay in shape then there is no reason you should deprive yourself of all the Thanksgiving goodness. However, there are a few tips to follow in order to avoid overeating this holiday season. Before you say, “pass the stuffing!”, check out the five tips below.

  1. Workout: It has been found that exercise may lower levels of the hormone ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates your appetite. Additionally, exercise has been found to raise levels of the hormone peptide YY, a hormone that suppresses appetite. So not only does a morning workout aid in burning calories, exercising before you sit down for a big meal can help you eat less. If you don’t have time to exercise prior to the big event, a walk after dinner is beneficial for burning calories as well.
  2. Eat Breakfast: Many times when folks know they are going to be eating a large meal later in the day, they decide to skip breakfast in anticipation. However, breakfast has been named the most important meal of the deal for a reason. Choosing a healthy breakfast packed full of protein and fiber will go a long way in helping you avoid overeating later.
  3. Drink Wisely: It is no secret that wine pairs well with turkey. It is also no secret that alcohol, such as wine, has calories of its own. Instead of using calories on alcoholic beverages, trade in the alcohol for sparkling water. Drinking less alcohol will give you a little more wiggle room when it comes to mealtime.
  4. Control Your Portions: Before you fix your plate, take a second to survey your options. Deciding what items you would like to eat before you go through the buffet line will aid in helping control your portions. When making your selections, opt for dishes that are holiday favorites. For example, skip the mashed potatoes since you can whip those up any time. Also, try to take small tastes instead of large helpings and avoid going back for seconds. You can always eat leftovers the next day so there is no need to overdo it at dinner.
  5. Eat Slowly: Have you noticed that slow eaters tend to get full faster? Take small bites, chew slowly, and savor the flavors of your favorite dishes. Not only will you feel more satisfied, but you will also get more enjoyment out of your meal. Another tip: Instead of jumping right into dessert, take a break from eating and go on a family walk or start up a game of football in the backyard.

The most important tip for the big day– enjoy. If you are dedicated to your weight loss plan, don’t fret over holiday eating. Take it slow, listen to your head (not your stomach!), and have a great time.

Learn More about Holiday Overeating

If you are ready to make a lifestyle change, let Total HealthcareMD lead the way. Total HealthcareMD is a physician supervised weight loss and lifestyle management clinic serving patients in the Triangle area. Total HealthcareMD provides patients with customized diet plans,exercise plans, and the support they need to lose weight and get healthy. Request a free, no obligation consultation today.