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holiday eating strategies?

i've never been overweight, so i've never really worried about the holidays before, but this year my metabolism has slowed down and i'm feeling slightly terrified of what and how much i might eat between thanksgiving and new years. does anybody have any advice or tried and true strategies on how to handle it? how do you make it through all the temptation?

Fri. Nov 10, 12:38pm

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PORTION CONTROL! Don't worry too much about what you eat, it's ok to treat yourself sometimes, just don't overdo it. Works every year!

Friday, November 10, 2006, 12:48 PM

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Keep it top of mind. Stuff yourself with veggies and talk about it. Maybe tell 1 family member who you trust to help you.

Friday, November 10, 2006, 12:58 PM

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focus on eating really really well for 5 or 6 days out of the week and then allow yourself to splurge (w/in reason) if you have a holiday party or, a family dinner or something to go to once a week. (maybe cut down a little more in your calorie intake for those days to compensate for the 7th day?) so much of the holidays centers around people and food and sharing it, making it together. it's nice to be able to take part in some of the treats!!! adding a few extra minutes to each of you workouts will help too! even 5 extra minutes a day!!

Friday, November 10, 2006, 1:20 PM

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for Thanksgiving, I intend to decide a day ahead of time when I am not hungry what I am going to eat and share that with my husband. I also plan to think of how hard I worked to get where I am now and ask myself if I want to eat a lot, is that one day of lots of food worth trading for the pounds I have lost so far.

Friday, November 10, 2006, 2:05 PM

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Ask yourself if the food is really good. If it's not, don't eat it. This worked GREAT for me last year. Went to the work dinner buffet party -- you know, the salad was overdressed and really gross. And the Brie was not yet ripe, and it was really cheap wine... suddenly I realized it all looked luxurious but was in fact pretty substandard! And why waste my calorie budget on that when I could spend it on yummier versions at home?

Went to a party at a friend's house -- same deal. Homemade salad and cheese dip and cookies -- oh yeah, a little of each. But ditch anything that came out of a supermarket wrapper. The wine was superb, the egg nog could be skipped after the first sip.

Become discriminating -- go for the quality!

Friday, November 10, 2006, 2:11 PM

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Start building up your willpower, and don't worry about hurting anyone's feelings by not eating everything...

DON'T eat well for 5 or 6 days and then "splurge"- this is a seriously bad habit- One splurge will lead to another and another. Just strengthen your will.

I don't need this.

I don't want this.

I want this but I don't need this.

Look at food the same way you look at spending money- don't eat it if you can't afford it.

Friday, November 10, 2006, 2:26 PM

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I eat a piece of turkey breast, a small spoonful of the stuffing w/a little gravy and I have a salad & veggies. I make my own sugar-free Almond-Vanilla cranberry sauce that is to die for, so I don't feel the least little bit guilty about that, and I have the fruit salad too.

My big 'thing' on the Thanksgiving? I allow myself a piece of my mother's flan which is my favorite dessert in the world and I only get it once a year.

Best wishes and hope you enjoy your days with your family and friends and don't let food ruin your happy feelings by taking over your holiday.

Friday, November 10, 2006, 3:06 PM

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Let's see - start of big days like Thanksgiving and Christmas (if you can) with a run, a brisk walk, etc. Lots of gyms are open on Thanksgiving - I think my father and I have gone in the morning every year for several years running. Also, post-meal, try to interest friends and family in going out for a walk. The suggestion is often welcome. Depending on where you live, you might even plan a hike or a walk through a park or something kind of adventurous post-meal.

It's easy to say - oh, it's Thanksgiving, I'm just going to forget about eating well, and then, you know, as others have said, have lots of yucky, substandard whatever, etc. If there is something special that you only have once a year - say your great aunt's pumpkin pie, then go for it. But dinner rolls and over dressed salad - well that is something you can say no to every day of the year, including Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Also - if the holidays were really only two or three big special meals - say Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas - it wouldn't be that daunting. The problem is the ongoing holiday parties - at work, with friends, with family - and then the holiday spirit - people making cookies, going out fo drinks, etc. It's really an entire big problematic season, not just a few problematic meals. So . . . think carefully of how you want to deal with it. Don't miss out on a single special high calorie food that you will have access to only once per year, but don't take the season as a seven week excuse to do damage to your body with every sip and every bite.

Friday, November 10, 2006, 11:32 PM

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A little OT, but I would LOVE the sugar-free almond-vanilla cranberry sauce recipe. I am a cranberry freak!

Saturday, November 11, 2006, 1:32 AM

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I eat an apple before going to a friend's parties-- that way, I'm already "full" before going and won't "want" to eat as much.... (by the time I get there, the "full" signal from the tummy has hit the brain.

Eat from smaller plates! (I saw a TV program with an experiment in the past few weeks that actually verified that eating from a smaller plate will help you to get smaller portions...

The funny thing is that they did another experiment where they fed 5 or 6 students "strawberry yogurt" while blindfolded-- they told the students it was strawberry, when in fact it was really chocolate.... All were convinced that they had eaten strawberry--because that's what the packaging stated...

Their conclusion is that we tend to eat more visually than by using our sense of smell and taste...

Another experiment occurred wherre they gave students "snacks" to eat during a lecture-- some had small portions in little baggies vs. 1 large portion in a big baggie. The ones who had the smaller portions in the little baggies ate a lot less snacks because they had "reached the bottom of the bag" sooner....

They also concluded that the "clean plate club" aspect of eating (i.e. eating to the end of the plate or the bottom of the bag) was very common-- and that people are in many ways like dogs-- we'll eat and eat until the bowl is empty vs. listening to our bodies' clues about being full....

The point is that if you use a smaller plate, you'll eat less because you'll visually feel fullter... (they showed that in every case, people gave themselves 1-1/2 portions MORE of each food when they served themselves into a larger plate vs. a smaller plate....

Hope this helps! (Unfortunately, I don't remember the program-- It hink it was Datelline or something like that.)

Saturday, November 11, 2006, 11:44 AM

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OP here

thanks everybody for your tips and support! i can do this!

Sunday, November 12, 2006, 2:19 AM

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One of my biggest tips - beware of leftovers. They're convenient, but they're never as good as they were the day of anyway. You can't "ruin" weightloss efforts by having one big meal on Thanksgiving and one on Christmas. But, if you eat continuously from one holiday until the other, there is the problem.

Don't fall into these common (but gross when you type them out!) holiday traps:
Having leftovers for breakfast
Having leftover cake/pie for breakfast
Eating between meals when you usually would not, just b/c the leftovers are sitting out
Eating straight from the serving dish - i.e. standing around with others, continuously cutting small pieces of a dish and eating them, then having another. Always serve yourself the serving that you want, to a plate, and take the plate and sit down and eat with fork and knife.
Taking leftovers home from a relative's house - if you don't have it, you won't eat it!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006, 11:53 AM

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Bring something with you to whatever parties you go to. Either bring something healthy and/or "safe" - i.e. veggies and a yogurt-based dip, a fruit salad, angel food cake w/ fresh fruit and cool whip as a dessert, pita and hummus, etc., or, offer to bring a main part of the meal - i.e. dessert or appetizer, or side, and make it something that you don't particularly like. Then you won't be tempted to eat at least that one portion of the meal.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006, 12:56 PM

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I plan on making Thanksgiving with a twist. Nothing I am making is totally traditional. I want to make whole wheat tortillas to replace the bread (at least my share), and I plan on making a low fat pumpkin cheesecake pie. I also would like other ideas for making a healthy and proportioned Thanksgiving.


Wednesday, November 15, 2006, 12:03 PM

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An article in which a food researcher / PhD discusses holiday eating strategies...


Friday, November 17, 2006, 9:13 AM

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Don't skip the foods that you love. You'll only feel like you're missing out and/or you may binge later. Have 1, 2, or 3 bites of something you really love, but make sure you have some kind of protein around the same time to keep your blood sugar levels even to prevent later munching.

Monday, November 20, 2006, 9:59 PM

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