Think of me as your best friend who was sent from above to help you NOT gain those 5-10 lbs. that are usually associated with the holiday season.  It DOES not have to be like that this year! I write to you as one who has definitely BEEN THERE, DONE THAT, and WILL NOT be doing that (gaining any additional weight) this year.  NO.  While I still continue to work at my weight goals, I have figured out how to eat successfully during this season. Thus, I thought I would give you some tips to help you enjoy your family, enjoy the food, and NOT feel guilty and all self-deprecating once you get up from the table. This year can be different.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. Be HUNGRY at the Thanksgiving meal.

 How many times do you waste your appetite on Pre-Thanksgiving snacks?  The chips, cookies, fruit, etc. that are just lying around.  Friends, this is called GRAZING. You don’t really even want those things! The goal – go into Thanksgiving meal HUNGRY.

Your Task: Find out what time you will eat (approximately).

Plan on cutting off all eating 2-3 hours PRIOR to that.  Yup.  Cut it off.  Go outside.  Call a friend.  Watch a movie.  Just don’t sit around eating all day.  Most of that stuff is just filler – not even that good.  Save your appetite for the food that really matters.

2. Eat what you want first.

Yes, so the holiday season is all about lots of yummy, high caloric foods that are typically present in ABUNDANCE. We kind of lose our minds when we see all of our favorites on one table.  And we haven’t even made it to dessert!  This year, BEFORE you go in on everything, I want you to STOP and think about what you want to eat more than anything. LOOK AROUND. Pay attention. Once you have narrowed down your choices, I want you to make sure you get a bite of those things first.  Savor the taste of _____ in your mouth.

This is imperative. Necessary. And it leads us to our next point…

3. No Stuffing (not talking about the Turkey kind)

Yup.  I said it.  This year, in order to win, you have to pay attention. As you are savoring your favorites, I need you to eat mindfully. Slowly.  And start to notice when you are getting full.  This year – don’t let yourself go over into that “I’m going to be sick.”  Remember – You CAN ALWAYS GO BACK FOR MORE. Leftovers are what this holiday is about! If you have eaten what you want first, it will be much easier to stop. Our goal?  To feel comfortable.  Satisfied. Content. This will take practice, but try to do your best.

4. Don’t linger in the DANGER ZONE

Once you have decided that you have had enough, and you are feeling good, it is important that you find something else to do.  The next temptation will be the, “Oh, one more bite won’t hurt thought.”  LIES, LIES, LIES! Get up from the table. Put your food in the microwave.  Throw it in the trash even (well, that may be going too farJ).  You get the point.  Separate yourself from the source of temptation. Remember – you will be hungry again, and then you can eat what you want.

5. Just say NO to the food pushers.

We all have that family member.  The well-meaning one who insists on you eating more than you would like.  They don’t mean any harm (I think), but it is still not helpful to have someone tell you to eat more. It sometimes goes like this:  “OH, is that all you are eating?” “You might as well eat the rest of that.”  “Here, have some more!”

Your response:  “No, thank you.  I’m full.”

Practice saying this.  Over and over again. No further explanation is needed.

Friends – I am praying for you today, and I hope that you can enjoy this holiday season! Many of us have so much to be grateful for.  You can do it!

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