5 TIPS FOR A GUILT-FREE THANKSGIVING

Tis’ the season to be Jolly!

& tis’ also the season to get off track and binge on your mom’s pernil, tía’s broccoli casserole, or your grandma’s pasteles en hoja.

More people in the US celebrate Thanksgiving that they do Christmas.

This is the time of year when most of us tend to fall off because it’s cold as all heck and there’s food EVERYWHERE.

It happens every year... It’s the day before Thanksgiving!  & we’ve got our food seasoned, our salon appointment booked, our outfits on fleek! BUT then you catch yourself, the day of, a few hours before, running around like a chicken with your head cut off. Still cooking that lasagna, painting your nails, doing your hair, your makeup, and rushing to do last minute errands. 

No wonder we forget to eat all day! & then, when you get to the party you want to eat everything in sight. 

The average American will consume more than 4500 calories on Thanksgiving day ALONE.

Don’t be that person!

Before I continue, I want to make one thing clear: this is not going to be a post that encourages deprivation — quite the opposite actually.

I urge you to please enjoy and indulge in the special, yummy, holiday foods coming your way this year.

HERE ARE MY 5 TIPS ON HOW TO SURVIVE THIS HOLIDAY SEASON AND HAVE A GUILT-FREE THANKSGIVING:

#1 Eat Regularly (the day of)

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Most people make the mistake of starving, snacking and gorging on the holidays. Studies have shown that fasting or nibling can lead to extreme overeating, overindulgence, anxiety, regret, and shame.

The lesson? Too many of us give up good habits when your time is short but stick to your regularly scheduled program (as much as possible.) This is where the practice of discipline will come in for you. Make sure you eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you usually eat breakfast, don't skip it. If you've gotten into the habit of meal prepping your lunch and dinner - keep that up!

The holidays bring enormous to-do lists. Add the most important person on your list = YOU.

Decide what you're going to eat in advance and to keep it manageable, create your meal log the day before. Schedule your time out the day before and prep your meals in advance so that all you need to do is grab and go.

#2 Decide Which food You're Not Skipping

For some reason, we become delusional during the holiday season and think that willpower is going to be enough to withstand the draw of holiday cookies, candy, pastelon, coquito and every other holiday food you love.

Don't be silly! You are SUPPOSED to indulge. So how do you not overeat on so much good food this holiday?

DECIDE which foods you have to have that only come around during the holiday (stuffing, sweet potato pie, pastelon, etc.) before the day gets here so that you don't waste calories on foods that you can have all year long. 

Instead of hoping your willpower is going to get you through the holiday season, pick the foods and holidays (in advance) worth indulging in. Be Choosy! Don’t eat something just because it’s there. (Yes, I’m talking about the 5 slices of apple pie you’re looking at.)

The point of doing it before the day is to free yourself of the mental energy when faced with the nagging anxiety that comes with overeating. Do you love your aunties mac and cheese, the apple/ sweet potatoe pie or brownies? Good - that means you're human. Allow yourself a measured amount, and feel empowered when you pass by the chocolate brownies.

 

#3 Portion Control

During the holidays, it can be easy to overdo it on your portion sizes.

Eating mindfully will also help you with portion control.

 Several studies show that those who engage in mindful eating practices are less likely to gain weight. One way to eat mindfully is to eat slowly and chew your food thoroughly, which will allow you to better recognize your body's signals of fullness and consume fewer calories.

The people who eat large portions tend to gain weight more easily than those who don't.

The best way to overcome this is to eyeball your food or eat off smaller plates. Remember you don't need to have 7 servings of rice or lasagna. Have 1 or 2, enjoy it and keep it moving. 

 

#4 Don't Drink Your Calories

It's just not a holiday party without a drink let's be serious! Considering all the extra calories you're going to eat that day stick to a low call drink if you can. 

Here are 7 Slim drink suggestions that could help you the next time you are out:

  1. Mimosa

  2. Red Wine

  3. Champagne

  4. Vodka with soda water

  5. Rum and Coke

  6. Martini

  7. Mojito 

#5 Plan to make or take some healthy sides

One of my favorite podcasts, the Myleik Teele Podcast had an excellent tip for the holiday season!

"Instead of eating everything in site over the holiday plan to make of take some healthy sides this year. You can Google tons of healthier Thanksgiving eats this year and now is the time to start planning for that. There's nothing like feeling proud of yourself for not doing the most when you technically have a pass to do so. It reminds me of the idea of teaching ourselves to do the right thing when we don't necessarily have to because no one's watching. One of my favorite quotes is, 'Success is what you do when you think no one's watching.' Will you do the right thing if you aren't being babysat? Your own personal success depends on YOU."

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If all else fails, and you can’t remember any of these tips this year remember this: all things in moderation.

The comfort zone is a beautiful place but nothing ever grows there! Much love and respect 💖 — Masiel Encarnación

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