Thanksgiving Survival Guide

Thanksgiving Survival Guide

Overeating seems to be the norm during all holidays, but when it comes to Thanksgiving, everything is literally all about the food. How do you make sure that the turkey is the only thing that’s stuffed this year?  Here are ten tips to surviving the smorgasbord whether you are hosting the feast yourself, or asked to bring a dish to someone else’s house.

1. Stay away from foods that increase your appetite. A good rule of thumb is to avoid anything white, for instance potatoes, rice, or bread. Whole-grain foods have more fiber, so they fill you up faster, move more slowly through your system so you feel satisfied longer, and stabilize your blood sugar so you won’t be as eager for dessert. Try bean salad instead of potato salad, brown rice instead of white rice, whole grain bread or rolls instead of the white, over-processed kind.

2. Don’t drink your calories. Liquid sugars cause a surge of blood glucose and insulin that increases your appetite and puts your body in fat storage mode. Alcohol lowers your willpower, too. Stick to sparkling water or unsweetened ice tea, or ONE glass of wine.

3. Serve a veggie platter with hummus or bean dip instead of onion or artichoke dip.  Or try your veggies marinated: cut up 8-10 cups of assorted fresh vegetables, like broccoli, cauliflower, snap peas, mushrooms, bell peppers, jicama, etc. into bite-size pieces. Place in a covered container and pour a whole bottle of red wine vinaigrette or balsamic vinaigrette over them. Marinate in the refrigerator up to 24 hours. Drain vegetables thoroughly and place on a serving platter.

4. Don’t “save room” all day before you sit down to dinner. Keep your metabolism and blood sugar stable by eating regular small meals and snacks. If you starve all day, you’ll be so hungry by dinnertime that all your good intentions will go right out the window. Plus, your body will convert more of those calories to fat than it would otherwise.

5. Fill your plate 2/3 full of fruits and vegetables before dishing up the rest of your meal.

6. Visualize the amount of food that can fit into both of your cupped hands. That’s how much your stomach can hold.

7. Use a smaller plate. Plate sizes have been getting bigger over the years, and so have people’s waistlines. Break the trend and use a bread or dessert plate for your salad, and a salad plate for your dinner. And keep it to one layer deep!

8. Eat slowly and chew your food well. After every few bites, put down your fork, socialize for a while, then decide if you are really still hungry.

9. For a great cookbook filled with desserts, appetizers and cocktails that actually melt fat, go to

10. Challenge the kids to a game of tag or hide and seek after dinner. Or maybe take a walk with a family member you haven’t seen in a while. It will give you some alone time to catch up and help you both digest your meal.

Thanksgiving doesn’t have to derail your diet. Follow these tips, and you’ll be thankful that you, and the top button on your pants, survived the holiday.

Written by: Judy Bennett, CHHP


About the Author:

Judy Bennett is the mastermind behind Wicked Smart Wellness, an online education series that helps women achieve their wellness and weight loss goals without starvation, deprivation, or sobriety. You can read more about these groundbreaking programs at Judy is a board-certified wellness and health care strategist, writer, speaker, consumer advocate, and ass-kicker. She has also practiced physical therapy for almost twenty years. She has written two books: If You’re Old and You Know It, Clap Your Hands, and Bloody Marys: Sanguine Solutions for a Slew of Situations.

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