Thanksgiving (and the start of the holiday season) is here! Thanksgiving is actually my favorite holiday.
Why, you might ask? Honestly, I just love the food! The turkey, the potatoes, the pie! I look forward to cooking and enjoying this meal in great company all year long!
With the build up, the anticipation, and the specialness surrounding holiday meals, it is easy to get carried away.
There's way more food around than you're used to.
There's so many rich dishes, made with enough butter and heavy cream to make Paula Deen's head spin.
There's a table full of dessert options.
And as a gymnast who usually tries to "eat healthy", these big meals might feel a bit overwhelming... It's easy "overdo" it. We're all human.
It's also easy to leave the table feeling guilty and struggle with remorse and regret.
I was recently talking to a gymnast who shared that she felt a lot of anxiety before holidays because she knew she was going to be eating a lot. Then she would feel GUILTY because she ate a lot of the food she enjoyed.
She, like many of us, was trained to believe that she needed to eat less and exercise more leading up to the holiday and the next day to make up for all the food she ate.
Please remember: One snack, one meal, or one day of eating will NOT hurt your overall training goals!! While you may eat more than you normally do on Thanksgiving, remember this:
Holiday food is just food! It still has the nutrition your body needs. And your body knows exactly what to do with it! Don’t let holidays cause you anxiety because of all the yummy food that is around!
Thanksgiving is a good time to practice mindfulness with your eating.
Being mindful means practicing being "present", understand what is happening and how you are feeling in the moment, and then honoring those feelings.
Mindful eating means is about using all 5 senses to be in tune to your experiences, cravings, and physical cues when eating.
On Thanksgiving, it is very easy to become overwhelmed by everything going on - the smells, all of the different foods, spending time with family and friends. But by practicing mindfulness, you can be more comfortable with the situation.
Here are 3 easy tips to stay mindful and feeling good on Thanksgiving:
1. Eat Meals and Snacks Leading Up To Dinner:
You cannot "save room" by skipping meals, but you can become over hungry and make it more difficult to make confident food choices and stop eating when you feel full and satisfied. Start your day with breakfast like you normally would. If you'd usually have a morning snack, eat that too! If dinner is not until 5 or 6pm, eat lunch! Eating leading up to a big meal helps you to go into dinner moderately hungry (and not starving) and eat an amount you are comfortable with.
2. Be Active!
Moving your body helps with energy and digestion. That doesn't mean you have to get up extra early and run a marathon (unless that's something you truly enjoy doing...) Go for a walk before or after dinner with your family. Play a family football game! Have a dance party! It all "counts"!
3. Drink Enough Water.
With all the excitement of the holiday, it's easy to forget to drink water and get dehydrated. Being well hydrated helps you feel good all day long and helps to digest the festive meal. Each time you sit down to eat a meal or snack, pour yourself a glass of water. Also challenge yourself to drink 1 or 2 glasses in between each meal or snack.
PS: I've got 2 amazing Black Friday deals dropping later this week that are sure to help any gymnast! If you've ever thought about working with a dietitian, this is the best time of year to start. Make sure you are subscribed to my email list to get first dibs on the deal! You don't want to miss this!