For whatever reason, some families around Thanksgiving end up celebrating 3 or 4 holidays at once with it being Memorial day, Easter and Thanksgiving all wrapped up into one.
By Thanksgiving afternoon, people will begin to post plates piled high with bbq ribs, fried catfish, spaghetti, lasagna, turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, macaroni and cheese, potato salad, cornbread, baked beans, rolls, turnip greens, candied yams, green beans and ham if there’s any more room left on the plate. If not, there’s always an extra plate off to the side for all of the food that didn’t make it on to the first plate. Yep, I was guilty as charged and would have the nerve to go back for seconds lol. Just greedy!
During the months of October through December, people experience the most weight gain as well as sadness due to the loss of loved ones not around for the holidays, numerous festivities surrounded by food, and the changing of the weather called SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) which can cause mood swings, depression, and emotional eating.
This holiday season, be intentional with you, your mood, and your holiday spread so that your weight doesn’t spread.
Here are a few Thanksgiving and holiday tidbits to help keep your weight gain at a minimum and your mood in good spirits:
•Plan your entire meal now where there’s a healthy balance of proteins, carbs and veggies with a few sweet treats as your Indulgences on your menu.
•Two to three healthy proteins at best if preparing for a huge family gathering. One or 2 if small. No need to deep fry your turkey or anything else for that matter.
•Choose your carbs wisely. If you’re going to make your granny’s infamous 6 cheese macaroni and cheese, there’s no need for you to make another pasta dish. More than likely you will have dressing/stuffing as well as a rice dish, sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes as a part of your menu. Choose the 2 carbs you love to eat and can’t get but a few times a year. You still have to practice portion control.
•When preparing and seasoning your greens, beans, etc don’t use pork or smoked meats including turkey. Both are loaded with sodium. You can prepare flavorful veggies without the meat. Besides some of your guests may be vegetarian. It would be great if they could be able to eat more than just the potato salad lol.
•If you plan on eating the dressing/stuffing, skip getting any extra bread, rolls or cornbread. Those are unnecessary calories that can be saved on dessert. Yeah, you want to mash the cornbread in the juice from your greens, but why eat cornbread dressing and a piece of cornbread smh lol.
•If you’re not cooking but plan on visiting a home or several homes, check out the entire spread first before you prepare your plate. Choose wisely. Go for the few special things first, more veggies than carbs, good proteins and a few sweet treats. Keep your plate balanced.
•If visiting multiple homes, don’t eat everywhere you go. Go for the fellowship only. If they insist on you eating something, respectfully decline or get a small serving of a veggie and a meat to keep the peace.
•There’s no need to open up a bakery for one or two days by making and baking every cake, cobbler, pie, cookies, or dessert known to man. Cook 2 or 3 special desserts. Eat a small sample of each one or just a little more of your favorite one. Resist the temptation.
•Be sure to keep your scheduled workouts. Staying active is important this holiday season. You might not be able to avoid gaining some weight, but imagine if you didn’t workout at all how many more pounds you would have to lose. Besides exercising helps to release those happy endorphins that will help your possible mood swings, sadness, anxiety, depression, emotional eating and feeling the loss of a loved one.
•Be intentional in who you give your energy to and surround yourself with this holiday season. Be around people who uplift you, are positive, and won’t tank your mental health or weight loss goals. This applies to friends, family and co-workers. Don’t allow people to drain you where you’re left feeling empty. Protect your spirit. Your soul requires more of you.
•Don’t isolate yourself. An idle mind is the devil’s playground. People need people. If you’re not feeling like being around friends or family, volunteer by helping someone else or do an activity that you enjoy. When we focus on helping others, it shifts the focus off of us, puts us in a giving mood, and sometimes bring revelation to our own problems and issues.
•Remember the happy times with lost loved ones this holiday season. Enjoy the time spent with your family. Turn your tears into smiles. They would want that from you.
•When you find yourself stressed out or depressed, find an activity to do that brings you joy or go for a walk rather than find something to eat. Emotional eating never solves the underlying problem. It only contributes to creating more problems.
You have what it takes to win the war on weight gain and SAD this holiday season. The biggest battle is the thing between your two ears.
Live more. Worry less. Happy Thursday!