Advice for Thanksgiving Feasting

November 25, 2009 in Nutrition, Weight Management by Joyce Bunderson

So many times we have an all or nothing mentality. We believe that if we go ‘off our diet’ that we’ve ‘blown it’; and that our goal for controlling our weight is over. Beyond that negative thought, people sometimes add the next layer of negative thinking and it goes something like this, “If I’ve ‘blown it, I may as well enjoy myself in a big way.” The one day that we define as ‘blowing it’ leads to two days, then to a week, or a month, and to a negative experience of trying to confront a huge load of guilt (letting ourselves down – not keeping our commitments), then trying to drag ourselves back to the ideas of reclaiming gains toward our goals and seeking a healthy weight.

One of the ‘ah ha’ moments during the years that I counseled obese patients was when I realized that so many of the patients thought that normal weight persons don’t go off their eating patterns. Or some of them thought when they saw their normal weight contemporaries eating a holiday feast, for example, that they ate like that every day - that they just had very fast metabolisms and could eat like King Kong and not gain weight. Both ideas are wrong. It is true for a small number of people who rigidly do not deviate from their eating pattern. But research has shown that many people who maintain normal weight either unconsciously compensate (without thinking about it, they eat less after over eating); or like many people they consciously make compensations.

Making realistic plans sets you up for success. I believe that if you can get through the holiday season without a weight gain, or even a very minor weight gain, that you’ve experienced success. If you come right back to you regular weight management or weight loss meal patterns, the one meal will not be so devastating to your target of a healthy weight.

Don’t set yourself up for failure. Stop with piling on the guilt right from the beginning. Plan your holiday eating, realizing that you’re eating extra, then go straight back to your healthy eating. You’ll be so surprised how much satisfaction you will have with yourself when you discover that you didn’t go on an eating binge for two months. You’ll feel so empowered. In addition, you won’t need to spend your entire New Year’s Resolution on weight management issues; you’ll be ready to focus on the next level – improving in some other way.

Don’t forget; get the foods that cause you trouble out of your environment quickly, because exercising your will power does not strengthen it.

Best wishes for a very Happy Thanksgiving to all my cyber –friends,


Getting ready for 36 guests.

Getting ready for 36 guests.