How many times have you chosen your holiday dinner outfit based on comfort knowing you will end the meal feeling stuffed? Well, you’re certainly not alone. With appetizers, cocktails, a full Thanksgiving meal, wine, and desserts, your Thanksgiving Day dinner is generally richer and more decadent than a normal meal. Plus, you are consuming foods that may not normally be in your everyday diet, like bread, potatoes, or alcohol, increasing the level of discomfort. So here are some tips to help alleviate all those issues and help you feel good rather than bloated and full.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is not eating a regular meal before a big holiday feast. Skipping meals causes problems, including fatigue and irritability. The brain needs glucose to function, and depriving yourself of energy causes your body to go into survival mode. You wind up craving unhealthy, high-sugar foods and eat more than you generally would. Depending on the time of your Thanksgiving Day feast, be sure to eat your regular meals to avoid overeating at the feast.
Drink a lot of water during the day. Drinking water not only helps you feel fuller, but it helps flush out toxins before and after a meal. Water is also crucial for digestion. Keeping the bowel hydrated keeps food moving through the digestive tract and helps to prevent constipation and heartburn. Keep a glass handy and continue to drink between cocktails or carbonated refreshments.
Getting the body moving before the meal – whether it’s a relaxing session of yoga or a Turkey Trot 5K run with the family – is a fantastic way to boost your metabolism. If you have an early Thanksgiving meal, try taking a walk before dessert is served. The combination of breathing in the fresh air and moving your body after eating also aids in moving all of the food and drink out of the body. Exercise can also relieve some of the stress of the day. If you’re an introvert, all of the people and chaos can up the blood pressure. Grab the dog and your favorite tunes and take a break from the party.
Chat with a Loved One or a Good Friend
Find a spot away from the appetizers and sweets, and sit with someone you’ve been meaning to catch up with. Fill your mind and heart, rather than your stomach, with someone you have missed or someone you love dearly. Good conversation, even with someone you don’t know all that well, can brighten your mood and relieve a little stress.
Focus on Smaller Portions
You have so many great options to choose from on a grand holiday buffet. Some are traditional favorites, while others may be newer additions you have never seen before. Take a moment to see what’s available to eat, especially if the food is served buffet style. This way you can plan out a portion strategy. In any case, start small. You can always head back for seconds.
This suggestion may seem like an odd one, but get plenty of sleep. Sleep is a restorative time for the body and a tremendous amount of healing and repair occurs during rest. Holidays can up anxiety and stress, which can lead to overeating and drinking. Getting enough sleep can save you calories. It can actually help you resist fatty and salty foods because you aren’t craving them for extra energy.
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