Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, which means that families across America will be enjoying the holiday with family time – and of course, food. For those of us in the middle of a diet journey, the holidays pose unique challenges, which is why I thought I’d film a video and discuss my strategies for staying on track while still enjoying myself this holiday season.
5 Tips for Surviving Thanksgiving on a Diet
1. Create a Realistic Gameplan
The holidays inevitably bring food and schedule changes with them, and that’s OK as long as you’re aware of them and try to balance it out in the big picture. If you swear that you’re not going to touch any treats during Thanksgiving and just stick with your diet entrees, it’s unlikely to be practical in application and you’ll probably end up eating more because you feel hungry and deprived of the fun! Instead, just plan for enjoying your favorite holiday foods in moderation. Most importantly, be aware of what YOU need to succeed and set up a plan that is realistic for YOU – not what you think you “Should” be doing.
2. Look For Unexpected Diet Busters
Stress and a lack of sleep can be unexpected culprits in holiday over-eating, so it’s important to be aware of this and keep yourself as rested as realistically possible during the next few months. You can find more information about the study I mentioned in the video regarding lack of sleep and weight gain here.
3. Plan Your Leftovers
Once turkey day is over, minimize those excess leftover to ensure that your diet gets back on track after the “Big day”. An obvious way to do this is to send leftovers home with your family/guests; and I forgot to mention this in the video, but if you still end up with too much food, a great solution is to pack up the leftovers and take them to a friend who could use them, or even check with somewhere like a nursing home and see if they might be able to put it to use. The holidays are a great time to share the wealth with others!
4. Make Small Swaps
Sauces, dips, and drinks can be big culprits of empty calories. Think about what’s really important to you and plan your calorie consumption accordingly. For example, I’d much rather have a plate of stuffing and pie than get the same calories in a glass of punch or high-fat salad dressing! When you can, swap out ingredients to make the calorie impact a little less, but don’t feel like you have to make your whole menu diet-friendly, as your guests might riot if there is no turkey. Just do what you can, be smart about your choices, and enjoy yourself in moderation!
5. Prepare For Questions
If you’re on a diet plan, you may be peppered with questions or skepticism from friends and family, and even feel pressured to eat more than you want. We all have a deep emotional connection to food, and nothing brings that our more than the holidays. Just be aware that you may get questions and don’t let them throw you off-guard (Or off-plan)!
Readers, what are you doing to stay on track this holiday season? I’d love to hear about it!
As members of the Nutrisystem Nation Blogger Panel, Jai and I will be receiving the Nutrisystem program free of charge in order to share our honest opinions with you. Always consult with your physician before embarking on any weight loss or exercise program.