With Thanksgiving this week and the rest of the holidays a few weeks away, many clients, friends and followers have asked me my thoughts on what they should do. Do they track macros? Do they eat anything at all before Thanksgiving dinner? What happens if they go over their numbers and overeat? So many questions so here are my thoughts on the subject:
The holidays usually mean time that we spend laughing and eating with our families. Personally, my favorite memories from my childhood involve Christmas time which also includes my Grandmother’s lasagna, my Mom’s homemade cookies & just all of that indulgent food that comes with parties. My first tip would be to ENJOY your time with your family and friends. I mean, most of us (sorry to those who work at Macys) get the day off from work in order to give thanks, and create memories with our loved ones. Your macros, food scale, and tracking app will not vanish into thin air if you don’t utilize them for one day. In fact, a day of untracked meals will probably be a great thing for your mentality and in a way “re-charge” you.
With that being said, I don’t want you to arrive at Thanksgiving dinner ready to face plant into the huge bowl of mashed potatoes and gravy. As a Flexible Dieter, you know your limits when it comes to food. Like any “free” meal, eat until you are full and listen to your body. I know how overwhelming all of the choices can be, especially with foods that you may not have had since last Thanksgiving, but there is absolutely no need to go overboard and put yourself into a food coma. I personally fill my plate with turkey (duh) and plenty of veggies first, then choose the rest of my sides respectfully. My plate ends up being colorful, and full of everything I want, but portions remain in control.
For me, portion size is a direct correlation to how hungry I am. In that case, I don’t recommend totally skipping out on breakfast and lunch so you can “save room” for dinner and dessert. Chances are, if you arrive starving, you’re going to want to stuff your face with EVERYTHING in sight. Plan on having a high protein breakfast and lunch to ensure you aren’t ready to eat the entire turkey along with Grandpa’s arm upon arrival.
As always, drink your water. Whether you are indulging in some wine with dinner or not, water will help with digestion, inflammation and will all around make you feel a lot better throughout the day as well as the following day if you are experiencing bloat from sodium.
Last but not least, return to your “normal” eating the day after Thanksgiving. It can be so tempting to want to eat leftovers for days on end afterwards, but continuing eating increased calories will definitely begin to catch up to you at some point. Politely refuse bringing home left-overs if you are celebrating at someone else’s house OR if you are at your own house, offer to give away as much food as possible.
For those of you who know me, you know how die-hard I am about fitness and nutrition, but you also know how important my family time is to me and being able to enjoy that time is something that we all should be able to do without risking our goals. One meal or even one day is not going to totally kill your progress, and with that, Happy Thanksgiving everyone!