The Thanksgiving Meal--
Tips on How to Deal

1. The first thing that's important to think about is what this holiday is all about--what you are thankful for. If you take some time, even if its ten minutes on the way to your relatives house, to reflect on what you are thankful for, you are less likely to feel the need to overeat.

2. The morning of Thanksgiving, if you can do a little bit of exercise you are more likely to feel empowered to eat reasonably. Getting outside is especially therapeutic, and can help with the stress of the day if you tend to have trouble during family gatherings. By working out before the meal, your body will also be less likely to store any excess calories you may consume as fat.

3. When you are with the guests you will be eating with later on for dinner, make a point to tell them that you are following a healthy diet and exercise routine. This will make you more likely to eat reasonably since you will not want to look foolish overindulging after telling everyone that you are following a healthy lifestyle.

4. Avoid appetizers or excessive alcohol--for obvious reasons!

5. During dinner, choose very small portions of what looks good. Eat slowly and put your fork down between bites. Sip water or seltzer in between bites.

6. If someone keeps pressuring you to eat more, simply compliment how good the meal is but say that you are stuffed and could not possibly eat more. By complimenting, you are assuring the person that you are enjoying yourself, which is really what they want from you.

7. Have one desert or sample a number of deserts, but be sure to keep the portion small.

8. Refuse to take home (or give away) any leftovers that aren't healthy. There is no need to turn the Thanksgiving Meal into a weeklong feast!

9. And lastly, promise yourself that you will work out and eat the same this Thanksgiving week as you do every week--no skipped workouts or overindulgences! Do not use being busy or having that Thanksgiving meal looming before you as an excuse to give up for the week. If you follow your plan leading up to Thanksgiving day, you will have positive momentum on your side to keep up the good work!

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