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3 Strategies to Survive Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

Lets start off with some funny inspiration by Patton Oswalt.

Potatoes, stuffing , bread, rolls, cakes, candy, deserts, pies , etc.  Pretty much a diet disaster if you go with the flow.

I can see you drooling right now, stop it, pull yourself together!

Every religion or culture has special occasions.  More than often they revolve around indulging in food and beverages.  Strategically Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years are close to each other allowing for 20 – 30 days of  binge eating in which almost everyone regrets in the end.

Most people report gaining 4- 8 lbs around the holiday season.  For someone who is actively trying to lose weight, this uninvited weight gain can be a disaster.

So you decided to say I will just do whatever and enjoy myself during the holidays and “TRY” to be good on the days when there isn’t anything going on.  “TRY” is a word that means fail because you are allowing yourself an exit plan with no game plan or commitment!

A few days after the new years celebration you sober up.  Okay.. I am ready to lose weight, the problem is you just gained around 10lbs by “TRYING” to be good!  Somehow your holidays have turned into scheduled days of binge eating that lasted for 30 days straight.

Follow one of my strategies to help your health and weight loss progress.  Realize that food and fun can be separate things.  You can have plenty of food, not binge, exercise some control and you might even lose weight, or at least keep your weight stable.

Focus on connecting with people, great conversations, opening up gifts, and having fun.

Here is the scenario:

Your at Thanksgiving dinner where you know you will encounter challenging amounts of a variety of foods and sweets.

Strategy 1 : Bring your own meals or side dishes

Bring your own dishes, like a Tupperware party, bring more than you need, because if you get hungry it’s better to eat more good stuff than bad stuff, and granted, someone is going to ask to try what you’re having, so bring a slightly larger quantity than you normally would eat, this is the option I recommend the most.  It will keep you on your plan, you will keep losing fat, and at the end of the holidays you will be bragging about being the only person who lost weight in holiday season.

Mark Sisson from Mark’s daily apple has a great post for low-glycemic Thanksgiving menu options.

Strategy 2 : Eat Protein , Fat , and veggies

Think and grow thin!

Your body is like a hybrid car, you have a sugar power supply which is like gas, and a fat power supply which is like a battery.  Your body will always favor sugar over fat, period, and like  a hybrid car, having the car run on gas causes the car to store more energy in the batteries, running our bodies on excess sugar causes us to store excess sugar as fat.

If we stop or limit sugar intake, we switch the body into fat burning mode, as long as you limit sugar, your body will keep burning internal fat.  So, if you take option 2, you have to think before reaching to any food item, is it protein? Turkey? Chicken? Beef? Pork?  Great choice! Eat and be merry!  Fat, no problem, as long as you keep to the carbohydrates down your good to go!

If its rice, bread, chocolate, cake, stay away, these will put your body back into sugar burning mode, which will cause your body to store more fat, set back your weight loss goal, and make it harder to get back on track.  You will have to go through the sugar withdrawal symptoms again, carbs are addictive, the more you eat the more you want, and it becomes a vicious fat storing loop.

Strategy 3 : Cheat for one day and jump back on ( Moderation )

This is an option that I very cautiously recommend, it requires self-control,  a lot of conscious decision making, will power, which can be weak! Especially if you see everyone around you eating something else, and pressing you to try this and that.  Say no, and think of them screaming in horror the next day when they stand on the weight scale and see the extra pounds they put on.

This is the ultra-optimistic plan, some can pull it off, but its tough to limit this to one day.  It can easily drag on to 2 days, 3 days and by the time you know it a full week!  This requires significant use of will power.

As you can see, its boils down to either planning ahead, or exercising willpower, personally, I prefer planning ahead.
It just makes life easier, and I can enjoy spending time with friends and relatives not having to think about every bite
I eat, comfortably knowing that my nutrition and weight loss goals are going as planned.

Other reasons you would want to go with option 1 or 2

If you just started on a nutrition program, or you’re on a roll, building good momentum and losing fat every week, cheating will put a jolt stop to your momentum, delay your results and cause a lot of disappointment.  Not to mention headaches, mood swings, low energy, fatigue that usually come with sugar withdrawals.

I wish you the best of luck and hope you enjoy the holidays, remember, you’re always in control, and whatever you decide to do, it’s your choice and only you will have to live with the results.  If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.  If you decide to go off that day please be aware that it can possibly detrimental.  Go back to all your week 1 strategies to get you past the initial sugar withdrawals that you will most likely have the following day.

Write down in the comments below, what’s your plan? Which option will you take?

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1 comment… add one
  • Karen Askey November 27, 2013, 4:41 pm

    Hi! Thank you for this…very helpful & encouraging. I have already planned ahead. Taking Tuscan Veggie Soup, a shake, my tea and a Dbl Chocolate Brownie for desert. I will have turkey with my soup. My one indulgence will be a bit of Port wine with my brownie. I am SO close to my goal that I will not sabotage myself!! Thank you for all the support and making this an easy & quite delicious way to slim down!! Happy Thanksgiving!!

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