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3 Ways to Be More Comfortable With Food This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is here! And even if it may look a little different this year, there are many traditions that I still plan to take part in.

Thanksgiving is actually my favorite holiday. Why, you might ask? Honestly, I just love food! The turkey, the potatoes, the pie! I look forward to this meal all year long!

With the build up, the anticipation, and the specialness surrounding holiday meals, it is easy to get carried away.

And as a gymnast who usually tries to "eat healthy", these big meals might feel a bit overwhelming...

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.

It's easy overdo it. We're all human.

It's also easy to feel 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 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 your meals and snacks leading up to dinner: You can't "save room" by skipping meals, but you can become over hungry and make it more difficult to stop eating when you feel full and satisfied. Start with breakfast like you normally would. If you'd usually have a morning snack, eat that too! Dinner 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. Go for a walk before or after dinner with your family. Play a family football game! Have a dance party!

3. Remember to 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.


PS: I've got an amazing Black Friday deal dropping this week! 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!


Kerry Bair, RD, LDN, MPH

The Gymnast RD

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