How to Prevent Over-Stuffing Yourself During Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving has somehow crept up on us and, of course, we’re super excited about dinner. One thing we’re not excited about? Feeling bloated and gaining five pounds in one sitting. We know the temptation of eating four slices of apple pie is real, but having to unbutton your pants after dinner is anything but cute. But don't worry. After years of trial and error, I've come up with some helpful tips on how to prevent overindulging while surrounded by delicious food.

1. Eat breakfast
You’re probably tired of hearing it, but breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I know that during the holidays you may have skipped breakfast in order to “save” some calories for later. But that, my friends, isn’t a good idea. A healthy and well-balanced breakfast (think eggs and Greek yogurt) will prevent you from starvation, which will just make you binge more later on. This is also crucial for the day after when you’re recovering from a food coma. Guess what? There will be leftovers and they will be even more tempting the next day. Do your body a favor and start off Black Friday with a healthy breakfast. Trust me, the words food coma, bloated belly and shopping should never be even mentioned in the same sentence.

2. Water, wine and repeat
We all know alcohol contains unnecessary calories, but we totally get that you might need a glass of wine (or two) to deal with crazy cousin Sam. While it may be tempting to down a bottle of wine during dinner, the best tip is to start with water, follow with a drink, drink another glass of water and then another glass of wine if you’d like. Technically, you can repeat this as many times as your liver can handle. What you’re doing here is cutting your sugar and caloric intake in half while also staying hydrated. Believe me, you’ll feel better at the end of the night and won’t have to deal with a food coma and hangover the next day, which is literally #theworst.

3. Step away from the table. I repeat, step away from the table.
You’re less likely to be tempted by food when you’re away from it. Pre-dinner Thanksgiving tables are usually full of delicious and fatty snacks. The best idea is to grab a plate, serve a sufficient amount of snacks and go back to watching football in the living room. Standing around the table will only lead you to eat more. As for dinner time, I know guarding the sweet potato casserole is like a full-time job, but maybe it’s for the best if you let someone else eat half of it. When it’s time to eat, make sure to serve yourself enough to get you full — no more, no less.

4. Indulge wisely
Yes, we know the decision between buttery mashed potatoes and marshmallow-covered sweet potato deliciousness is extremely hard, but life isn’t always fair, and a choice has to be made. Have one or the other. By having both, you’re doubling up on the amount of carbohydrates, which will inevitably cause you to take a nap right after your meal. There is a silver lining: By having one out of the two sides, you’ll be able to have room for some more carbs at the dessert table! I mean, what’s Thanksgiving without pie anyway?

5. Wait on seconds
It’s easy to feel obligated to serve yourself seconds when there’s so much food around, but give it a couple of minutes. The body naturally takes about 20 minutes or so to fill up. Take your time while you eat, and if you still feel hungry after, give it a couple of minutes. Sit, talk to your family and see if you still feel the same way a few minutes later. If you still feel hungry after several minutes, then go ahead and grab seconds.

Remember, you don’t have to overeat to indulge on holiday goodies. Besides, we still have Christmas Eve, Christmas day and New Year's Eve to go, so pace yourself so you can enjoy all of the treats that are to come!

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