Happy (almost) Thanksgiving!
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, because I love eating (truth), and I love focusing on gratitude. It’s like me in a holiday. But when I had a rocky relationship with food, holidays like Thanksgiving used to bring up feelings of stress, anxiety and guilt, because it usually meant eating more food than a typical day.
Have you ever felt that way?
A lot of us do! But it’s possible to focus on what’s really important on Thanksgiving - like spending time with family and friends - while decreasing food anxiety.
So you want to eat with more ease tomorrow? Here are 5 simple tips:
1 // Eat Breakfast, If You’re Hungry
I used to skip Thanksgiving day breakfast and save “all my calories” so I could go hog wild on dinner and dessert later on. But not eating when you’re hungry can lead to low blood sugar, which can lead to poor moods, anxiety, unnecessary stress and even dizziness. And, you’re allowed to eat anytime, even when it’s more food than you typically eat in a day.
So to make this simple, eat when you’re hungry, especially before dinner tomorrow. Our bodies are so wise and our stomachs are growling for a reason, so give yourself full permission to eat when you’re hungry.
2 // Wear Comfy Clothes (or as close as you can get)
You know the running joke you should wear “stretchy pants” to Thanksgiving dinner? I actually think it’s valid! I’m not saying you have to wear sweatpants to the table, but think about wearing something that doesn’t make you feel constricted. As you eat, your stomach naturally grows a bit - again, totally normal - and if you’re wearing tight jeans or a skirt, things can get uncomfortable pretty quickly. Some people misinterpret this discomfort as “bad”, when in reality, it’s just a normal thing our stomachs do.
When you wear more comfortable clothes that leave room for your waist to naturally grow then go back to baseline, it more easily allows you to focus on the important things like spending time with family instead of focusing on the food inside you.
3 // Pre-Meal Check-In
Before you start eating dinner, do a quick check-in with yourself:
How am I feeling right now?
Any answer is completely valid, so just take note. This helps put you in a mindful mindset before eating, allowing you to be more in touch with hunger/fullness cues and anything else your body is telling you throughout the meal.
4 // Slow Down
There are no eating “rules” when it comes to intuitive eating, but I always like to suggest slowing down, because anyone can benefit from it. Eating slowly helps you be in touch with your body’s cues during and after meals.
There’s also a time gap between when your stomach is full and when your brain realizes it, and slowing down helps to bridge that gap so - again - you're more in tune with your bod.
5 // Focus on Food Gratitude
If you feel anxiety or guilt creeping up around Thanksgiving food, make a conscious switch to gratitude, and get really specific.
I’m so grateful I get to eat this pumpkin pie, because I rarely have it, and it’s my favorite!
This stuffing is incredible, and I’m really grateful I’m enjoying every bite.
Millions of people aren’t able to enjoy a warm Thanksgiving meal, and you’re so lucky to have food in front of you. You’re able to have a stomach full of food! When we focus on what’s great in our lives, it tends to put things into perspective.
No matter what, try and stay present tomorrow. Enjoy food and drinks, hug those you love, and take time to smile!
Grateful for you,