As Thanksgiving approaches, anyone who is following a specific meal plan or diet naturally starts to freak out. What should I eat on Thanksgiving? Should I stick to my diet? Should I take the day off? What if I lose control? What if all my momentum gets buried in a tryptophan-induced smog?
I'm calling you 'fat' in a tongue-in-cheek way. What I really mean is, there were 365 days between last year's thanksgiving and this years, and I'd bet everything I own that what you ate on the 364 OTHER days was way more important to how you look and feel now compared to that one Thanksgiving day.
That being said, what should YOU do on Thanksgiving? The questions are already coming in fast-and-furious from my clients, and it's still 10 days away.
Personally I have noticed that it works best when you go one of two ways. I cannot tell you which way to choose--you will have to figure that out on your own.
Recommended Thanksgiving Strategy #1: Stay on plan.
Wait, but that's no fun. Hold it there--what is fun is waking up Friday morning feeling good and healthy. I'm not saying that you can't eat. I am saying that whatever 'rules' you normally follow, such as filling up on protein, staying within a certain calorie range, or forgoing sugar will be followed. As long as all of that is in place, of course you will have Thanksgiving dinner. You just won't stuff yourself as full as that Thanksgiving turkey.
Choose this strategy if it is super-important to you that you continue to lose weight or maintain your plan over the holiday, or if you are concerned you won't have it in you to get back on plan come Friday.
Recommended Thanksgiving Strategy #2: Let it go off the rails.
This strategy sounds scary, but hear me out: The ability to forgo the 'rules' for the day can be liberating and really allow you to feel satisfied by the day and ready to move on and buckle down after the day is over. I mean it, though--all the rules have to go. Before you decide that this is way too drastic, consider this--I am not saying you should make yourself feel unwell. I want you to just eat like someone who isn't on a diet, not like someone who is having his or her last supper. This means you should listen to your body and eat slowly and truly enjoy your food, but stop when you are feeling the urge to loosen your belt buckle a little.
In my opinion most people should choose this strategy. Thanksgiving comes along once a year, and being on a diet on that day is practically un-American.
Thanksgiving Strategy I Don't Recommend: Half-in, Half out
In this strategy, you try to 'be good' but have 'a little treat.' No, no, no. And I'll tell you why.
When you try this seemingly logical strategy, you never really feel satisfied, but you also don't lose weight. What I have seem here is that you won't feel satisfied by the day and you will continue to mow though whatever leftovers you can get your hands on the rest of Thanksgiving weekend. It will be much harder to start again Friday if you were still following the rules for the most part on Thankgiving. The little extra thing you allowed yourself won't feel like a real reward; it will feel more like a tease.
The only people who should choose this strategy? Those who have truly mastered the art of moderation and self-control.
Share your thoughts about Thanksgiving with us below! And Have a Great Thanksgiving!!
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