I do not believe in depriving anyone of tasty foods or trying to make Thanksgiving dinner a low fat meal, what kind of celebration is that? Instead, I suggest that you look at Thanksgiving in the same light as this feast’s origin in 1621, a single meal.
To gain one pound of fat you have to eat 3500 more calories than you burn. Therefore, if you put on a “few” pounds, it tells me that maybe your Thanksgiving celebration is more than a single meal.
Many people eat more than typical on the days prior to the holiday, enjoy a gluttonous feast on the holiday, and then have days of leftovers afterward. Halloween is a perfect example. You do not gain a few pounds from the candy you eat on Halloween night, but rather from the candy you nibble at for the weeks surrounding it. Substantial weight gain at Thanksgiving is a reflection of this type lifestyle choice and usually not a single meal or a single day.
My best advice is to have your lifestyle include a consistent exercise program with the foundation of your every day eating habits being good, clean, healthy foods so that when you “celebrate” it has little or no impact. A well-established exercise program is a very effective shock absorber for the extra calories. I tell all of my clients that if you exercise and eat healthy on a consistent basis, you can and should enjoy special occasions.
Here is a light-hearted way of thinking about it. A “moment” is a brief period of time, and we all have “moments” when we cheat on our diet. But when these moments are too frequent or too long, they become “moo”-ments and we start looking like a cow!
Whether you are currently living a healthy lifestyle or not, it is important to enjoy the time with family which includes the delicious foods that this single meal celebration brings with it. And don’t be alarmed if you weigh significantly more the day after Thanksgiving as the foods that are high in sodium may have you retaining some water. So stay off the scale for a day or two!
It is what you do on the days that are NOT holidays, that make you overweight!