Debbie J., MS, RD contributed this article –
We’ve shared with you how to make substitutions in our article “Popular Thanksgiving Foods, Calories and Healthy Options” (click to READ MORE), burn it off in “10 Ways You Can Prevent Weight Gain this Thanksgiving” (click to READ MORE) and prevent food coma “Mystery of the ‘Thanksgiving Food Coma’ Revealed” (click to READ MORE). Really, we do want you to eat healthy during the holidays. And of course, we don’t recommend gorging, but some of us are going to anyway.
If you’re still adamant on eating what you want, AND as much as you want, at your Thanksgiving dinner this year (or every year), then this is for you.
This article will tell you how to “Eat All You Want at Thanksgiving Dinner and Not Gain Weight.”
You think we’re kidding, right? Eat over 3,000 calories in one sitting and not gain weight – no way!
Yes, it’s possible to splurge on ONE meal and not make a dent in your weight overall…if you’re willing to curb your diet the rest of week. Oh, and one meal would be within a 2 hour time frame, not a full day of eating! Here’s our suggestion for eating adjustments each day to offset your Thanksgiving feast:
- Tuesday – Weigh yourself in the morning. Then focus on vegetables, beans, lean protein and low-fat milk products. Cut back on other starches, fruit, alcohol and fats.
- Wednesday – reduce normal portions by a quarter each meal. Add two extra glasses of water (plain tea/coffee okay).
- Thursday – eat a sensible breakfast, half a lunch with salad and enjoy splurging on a ginormous Thanksgiving dinner!
- Friday – substitute your normal breakfast with a green vegetable smoothie; don’t eat again until you’re hungry and ONLY enough to satisfy your hunger, repeat. No leftovers.
- Saturday – focus on vegetables, beans, lean protein, low-fat milk products and fruit. No leftover starches or dessert. Add two extra glasses of water.
- Sunday* – light breakfast, then no more than 2 cups total of leftovers for lunch (e.g. ½ C. turkey, ½ C. stuffing, ½ C. vegetables, ½ C. corn or potatoes), light dinner.
- Monday – reduce normal portions by a quarter at each meal.
*Sunday – Weigh yourself in the morning. If your weight is above pre-feast level, continue to weigh daily while keeping portions down, fluids up and focusing on vegetables, beans and lean protein for a few more days. That’s it!
We’ve given you some specifics to follow for this approach, but in reality it’s no different than some people’s (who are at a healthy weight) natural fluctuations in eating quantity. It is just an example of more followed by less, making room for more, ad infinitum. Overall calories are the same as dividing them up equally between all meals…they balance out.
As you celebrate, remember that indulging shouldn’t be part of your ongoing weekly routine, but giving thanks can always be.
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