How to Eat Less at Thanksgiving (but Still Feel Satisfied)

It’s hard to eat less when there’s a grand spread of holiday food staring you in the face... but if you're trying to lose weight, you need to know how to enjoy your meal without overindulging.


Thanksgiving is one of those times when most people give themselves permission to cut loose and overconsume. However, with the influx of overweight people around, decreasing consumption might just be good idea!





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It doesn’t take a neurosurgeon to figure out that weight hardly ever falls off without intervention. You have to work at it each and every day, especially if you’ve formed bad habits with food over the years.

Thanksgiving should be a time to give thanks and be grateful for the blessings and loved ones in your life. The day does not grant you approval to go into a feeding frenzy! You can always find happiness and pleasure in the company of others if you look for it.

Here are some smart ideas on how to control your appetite and eat less food at your Thanksgiving meal and feel better about yourself afterward.

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How to Eat Less at Thanksgiving

  • Get your mind right! Before you go to dinner, take a few minutes to think about the meal and plan what you think you should eat as opposed to what you want to eat. No one likes restrictions so think of it as 'being smart'.

    You can still have dessert too if you will just play a little game of give and take. Give up one thing you love (like stuffing) and exchange it for a small piece of grandma's pumpkin pie!

  • Pace yourself! Thanksgiving is NOT a food marathon.

  • Breathe and unwind! Kick back and enjoy whatever the day throws at you! No one is going to burst through the front door and demand the food on your plate! I promise! Thanksgiving should be a time to enjoy your surroundings too! It's not all about the food, although it does add to an enjoyable atmosphere.

  • Sit with the kids! If your dinner includes a child's table, why not ditch the adults and get to know the children in your family as well. Kids say the darndest things, which will probably bring a big smile to your face. Children tend to eat passively because they're busy doing goofy stuff. We could all relearn a few things from them!

  • Cut back on the amount of carbohydrates you eat. Too many potatoes, stuffing, and pies can be blamed for the sleepy feelings that most people associate with turkey and tryptophan. Overeating carbohydrates however, are responsible for making you want to nap instead of getting out and walking off excess weight..

  • Load up your plate... but pack on more of the good stuff that doesn't contain a lot of extra calories! Eat more green beans and fresh pineapple chunks, as long as they aren’t laden with sugar.

  • Eat more turkey, ham, and roast beef which are relatively low in calorie but high in satiating hunger pangs.

  • Use fewer extra's. Cranberry sauce and gravy are totally scrumptious, but they're also dripping in plenty of calories. Weight loss happens when you cut calories, not add them.

  • Be a contributor, not an aggravator! Having great conversations is a fantastic way to share at Thanksgiving but don't start an argument! If someone says something you don't like or agree with, zip your lip and keep your opinions to yourself. People who like to argue are bound to want to pick a fight with someone. Just make sure it's not you! Fighting only leads to indigestion and that's no way to spend the night after a grand meal!

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  • Check the texture! Different foods feel different to your palate. You can get a different perspective from foods by chewing more and may gain a better appreciation for them.

  • Fill up the empty spaces with laughter instead of more food. Many times during the year, I save jokes I've received throughout the year to share at Thanksgiving. Even if you haven't done this, you can probably still think of a few good jokes to tell everyone! As Reader's Digest used to remind us: "Laughter is the Best Medicine!"

  • Use your salad fork! Dinner forks are rather large and enable you to pile on extra food. In their own way, they assist you in taking BIGGER bites. When you use a smaller fork, you’ll be forced to eat less food with each bite. Make sense?

  • Dress for success! When you wear form fitting clothes, you have to be careful about how much you eat. The looser your clothes are, the more food you can pack on and no one’s the wiser, including you. Do not unbutton your pants though. Being uncomfortable reminds you of your weight loss plans.

  • Sit beside elderly folks. If they need help cutting up veggies or meats, take your time with them and give them a helping hand. The more engaged you are assisting others, the more you take the focus off yourself.

  • Dessert is something that most everyone loves! Instead of opting for fresh fruit desserts, (which are a great choice but may not satiate your appetite), try taking only small slivers of the pies and cakes you want to sample. Savor each and every bite of deliciousness, and do not go back for seconds.

  • Be kind to yourself! If you want to eat less this year, gently remind yourself several times during the meal.

  • Actions speak louder than words! There are all kinds of activities (like throwing a football or playing basketball) that give you an adrenaline rush, which releases dopamine. This in turn gives you additional feelings of pleasure without eating more.

  • Serve yourself a healthy helping of gratitude! Look at your plate before you eat and be overjoyed at the blessing's God has granted you!

    Most of all, enjoy the day! Spending time with others should be comforting and relaxing, even though there’s a trouble maker in the crowd. Focus on the folks you appreciate being around and make new memories for Thanksgiving day. When you eat less food, you’ll be amazed at how easy it is NOT to overeat!


    Always consult your physician before using natural remedies, especially for anyone with preexisting conditions or anyone currently taking prescription medications. Although many efforts are made to ensure that the advice given on this site is professionally sound, the advice is not intended to replace a mutual relationship with a medical provider.







    Related Pages on This Site

    How to Keep Slim During the Holidays

    Fatty Foods – Ways to Curb Your Cravings

    Make Healthy Diet Plans and Kick New Years Resolutions to the Curb!

    Lose Stubborn Belly Fat – Best Ways to Eliminate a Pot Belly

    Eating a Balanced Diet Decreases Weight and Increases Energy

    Low Carb Foods Diet Facts – Sorting Through the Confusion!

    Keeping Weight Off - Easy Tips to Stay Slim



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