Remember to avoid overeating on Thanksgiving

I’m not going to say you should try to be healthy on Thanksgiving, because screw that! This is definitely a day to wear pants with an elastic waistband. And it’s a day to never utter the vilest four letter word of all – diet.

What I am suggesting though is to remember not to overeat. 

If a second round of mashed potatoes is passed around the table and you are full, don’t feel bad for saying, “No.” And, if you know pie is coming for dessert, remember not to gorge yourself during dinner.

I’m saying this because I cannot tell you the amount of times I’ve forgotten to do just that. I see all the amazing food, and I'll unhinge my jaw to fit as much inside my mouth as I can. And then, without fail, I feel completely miserable afterward. And, instead of wanting to interact with family members, I just want to curl up on the couch and die. 

It’s common to feel depressed, to experience anxiety, and to, overall, just be uncomfortable after eating beyond the body’s need for food. 

“Overeating causes the stomach to expand beyond its normal size to adjust to the large amount of food. The expanded stomach pushes against other organs, making you uncomfortable. This discomfort can take the form of feeling tired, sluggish or drowsy,” senior research dietitian Erma Levy tells the MD Anderson Center

One way to avoid overeating is to make sure you eat a normal healthy breakfast the morning of Thanksgiving. I know it may be tempting to skip this meal in an attempt to be able to eat more, but experts say this isn't the solution. 

According to InsideTracker, "Research shows that skipping breakfast doesn’t translate into lower daily calorie intake. People that skip breakfast tend to compensate for their lack of morning intake with larger intakes at lunch and dinner. The same is true on Thanksgiving day; however, the foods that you will be compensating with are much higher in calories."

You can also avoid overeating by putting smaller portions of food on your plate. And skip over the selections you are only "meh" about. Don't waste precious stomach space on the foods you don't love.

Then, once you are done with your first portion, wait about 10 to 15 minutes before you go in for seconds. This is about the time it takes for your body to send fullness cues to your brain. After this break in eating, pay attention if you are still actually hungry – or if you’re just eating because the food is there. 

For me, I feel like that extra piece of pie that pushes you over the edge just isn’t worth it. If I can go through the day without feeling like I'm going to barf, that is a personal win for me!

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