7 Genius Tips for a Guilt-Free Thanksgiving
Here it comes, the biggest chow-down of the year: Thanksgiving dinner. But what comes with the feast oven comes feelings of guilt following. So rather than having a guilty conscious this year, implement these guilt-free and healthy Thanksgiving tips!
Here it comes, the biggest chow-down of the year: Thanksgiving dinner. From the days the pilgrims laid out their corn puddings and acorn-stuffed squab to our modern turkey-centered feasts, this holiday has always been all about the food. Nowadays, most of us have too much food and look forward to this holiday especially, knowing that it brings with it a license to gorge ourselves on treats we oftentimes do not get most of the year. We know in advance that we will go overboard, and even the most earnest dieters plan for it, affording themselves a "free day" for the annual food fest. But what comes with the feast oven comes feelings of guilt following. So rather than having a guilty conscious this year, implement these guilt-free and healthy Thanksgiving tips!
Healthy and Genius Tips for A Guilt-Free Thanksgiving
1. Be Proactive
Having a guilt-free Thanksgiving can start well before the main event! Be proactive with your health by exercising daily, as doing so not only enhances your energy levels during a busy week, but lessens feelings of guilt surrounding food once Thanksgiving arrives. Map out a daily workout plan and strategize fun activities, including hitting the gym or outdoor hike on Sunday, doing a quick workout before work on Monday, scheduling an evening cycling class for Tuesday or Wednesday, and taking a turkey trot on Thanksgiving day.
2. Go for Annual Thanksgiving Foods
Rather than going for ordinary foods throughout the year, go for ones that tend be consumed and enjoyed annually. So swap out chicken for ham or turkey, dinner rolls for sweet potatoes, and cookies for pecan pie. And instead of scarfing them down, truly relish and appreciate the flavors and time committed to preparing the Thanksgiving feast (all without guilty strings attached)!
3. Buffet-Style It
Although an endless food line at restaurants warrants great risk of overeating, going buffet-style at Thanksgiving can actually lessen the likelihood. But not so surprisingly, research has shown people are more likely to overeat if food is in arms reach. So to lessen the food's proximity, set it out buffet-style or in the kitchen, ultimately making yourself or guests get up for a second plating.
4. Stop When Full
If feeling full, stop yourself. Overdoing it is not only uncomfortable physically, but may lead to mental anguish. Slow down the eating process by truly savoring the flavors of those special dishes, setting the fork down between each bite, sipping on water throughout the meal, and starting to notice when hunger is relieved, or at least 20 minutes.
5. Just Say "No"
From your grandma's infamous pecan pie to your neighbor's new recipe for sweet potatoes, it is okay to just say "no" to trying all foods on the table. But if guilt strikes too hard to take all offered food, simply inform them your fullness level or ask for to-go piece to try out later.
6. Freeze Leftovers
If you hosted Thanksgiving this year, enjoy those annual favorites for months to come by freezing leftovers. Doing so can lessen food waste, along with reduced guilt about having to throw away spoiling food or scarfing them down so they don't. If you truly do not want the temptation of some of the foods lingering around the house, prepare take-home "turkey" bags for your guests.
Take the focus away from food and distract yourself by mingling throughout the room. While you may feel guilt about that second helping of pecan pie, you will never feel guilty about catching up with close friends and family!