Sitting down to a huge table filled with appetizing casserole dishes overflowing with delicious (and once favorite) foods can be an overwhelming situation for a person trying to lose weight. Large amounts of food, especially carbohydrate and fat-laden casseroles, will fill you up quickly and make you uncomfortable for hours.
Sharon Howard is a registered dietitian and nutrition counselor with more than 30 years of experience, who also specializes in weight management. We asked her to reveal what advice she would give to anyone to better maneuver through the American classic feeding frenzy. She gave us these 10 great tips for a successful Thanksgiving experience, here:
1) Stop drinking fluids 30 min or so before the meal, and don’t drink with the meal.
Fluids will only fill up your stomach and leave less room for tasty food.
2) Keep your fluid intake calorie-free.
No caffeine, alcohol, carbonation or sugar.
3) Beware of appetizers.
Avoid sitting near the goodies and mindlessly eating while you chat with guests. You truly will not have room for the main event.
4) Find a smaller plate to use.
You will be less able to over eat when you can only put less food on your plate. If this is too conspicuous or not likely to happen, then fill more of your plate with protein (turkey!) and lean vegetables. Confine your starch choices to ¼ of your plate.
5) You can offer to bring a “leaner” vegetable dish. Other fellow diners may enjoy a lighter option to the creamy, starchy, heavy side dishes. .
6) Slow down your eating speed.
You are probably pretty good at this by now. You can put your fork down between bites, chew more, and spend more time talking to your long lost relatives. Or, pace your bites with the little ones at the table, or grandma!
7) Eat lightly before you arrive. Perhaps a low calorie protein shake for breakfast that day will be enough.
8) Regular sweet desserts will cause digestive havoc.
You may be able to save room for a bite or two of your dessert choice. Guests often delay their partaking of dessert because of fullness, and you can defer your dessert until later. Or, keep busy helping with the clean-up in the kitchen to avoid the pie-pushers.
9) Consider taking a walk after dinner! You may feel more comfortable moving around.
10) If you are in the process of losing weight... other people at the event may not even be aware of your “dieting”. If you are comfortable discussing your weight loss journey with your host, you may be able to avert the constant urges from her to try more food. Each person finds a way to handle the attention that the dramatic change is weight brings.