Just because Thanksgiving looks different this year, doesn't mean that you can't enjoy the same foods that remind you of the season, family, and are just plain comforting. Here are a few tips that have I've found extremely helpful when deciding whether I should go back for that second piece of pie.
1. DON'T WAIT TO EAT
If Thanksgiving dinner is at 5, or even 12, don't let it be your first meal of the day. Going into a meal hungry is just increases the likelihood of overeating. I don't know about you, but when I'm famished, I reach for anything and just scarf it down. Usually, this ends with an upset upset stomach and a guilty conscience. So do yourself a favor and unless Thanksgiving dinner turns into breakfast, eat something before.
2. EAT SLOWLY
There was some wisdom in the saying to chew each mouthful 32 times. Studies have shown that it takes somewhere around 20 minutes for the brain to realize that you're full. This article from the Harvard Health Blog explains that your hormones work together to send signals to your brain indicating that you're full. If you eat too quickly, this process may not occur. Another helpful strategy is to set your utensils down in between bites. So slow down, your turkey (and definitely not your tofurkey) is not going to grow legs and run away
3. TASTE WITH YOUR SENSES
What senses do you use while eating? Chances are, most people think of taste first or as the only sense associated with eating. I encourage you to make this a sensual experience. Doing this will also help you to slow down. First, start by just taking it in visually. Smell your food before you eat it. Feel every texture and taste in your mouth while chewing. Notice any sounds of crunching or sizzling, and also just stop to listen to what those around you have to say.
4. EAT A LITTLE OF EVERYTHING YOU WANT
Don't miss out on anything! If you want it, put a portion on your plate. If (and that's and If!) you are still hungry after 20 minutes of eating, go back for seconds. Practice steps 1-3 above, and it's likely that you won't even want that second portion.
5. DON'T FEEL THE NEED TO FINISH WHAT'S ON YOUR PLATE
I grew up having to finish everything on my plate and it definitely impacted how I ate as an adult. It was a learned behavior to finish everything, and unfortunately most of hunger signs were ignored. There were times I ate until I was way past full and then felt horrible about it after. Don't feel the need to finish everything on your plate if you're satisfied (not full), even it is is literally one bite left. And If it hurts you like it does me to throw food away, save it for later.
I hope these tips have been helpful, or even if you've already heard them, a good reminder of how we should be eating not only on Thanksgiving, but everyday. As you celebrate this day, if not with just members of your household, please remember to be safe! I saw this quote on social media and it was a good reminder:
"Skipping large family gatherings for the holiday season of 2020 might just ensure that you get to see those members in 2021."
I am so thankful for each one of you. Happy Thanksgiving!