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5-Step Turkey Day Meal Plan (+pumpkin pie)

November 21st, 2011 | no comments

As I was coaching one of my clients, she expressed a little concern over the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. Since she has been on a path to cleaner eating, her clothes fit better and she feels better about herself because she’s in control food…not the other way around. The thought of the approaching holiday season frightens her because after all, isn’t that when the feeding frenzy begins? When all resolve to live a healthier lifestyle goes down the toilet? Not necessarily. Approaching this holiday season with a plan will help you avoid the series of cascading weight gain traps you use to fall into— notice I said use to. Make this year different! Start with Thanksgiving day by following this 5-step plan:

  1. Move your butt!
    Before dinner, turn off the Macy’s parade for 20 minutes, lace up your tennies and walk! Twenty minutes—that’s it! I’m not suggesting this as a means to burning calories (although that’s a nice benefit), but rather as a way to get your mind in a healthy place. Something amazing happens after you participate in intentional “movement” (the word “exercise” drums up negative feelings, so think “movement” instead). You begin to think positive thoughts about your body, which in turn motivates you to make mindful, healthier choices. In other words, you’ll be less likely to reach for a second helping of mashed potatoes and gravy or grandma’s pumpkin pie.
  2. Give yourself permission to overeat…a little
    Don’t even try to NOT overeat on Thanksgiving. You always do and this year is no different. But, rather than eating to a level 10 (completely stuffed and unable to button your pants), eat to a level 6 or 7 (a little over-full). Keep in mind that a level 5 is “just right”. You aren’t hungry OR full.
  3. Plan your plate
    Appetizer: Skip the bacon-wrapped water chestnuts and pigs in a blanket and fill a small plate with raw veggies and dip and maybe some fruit. The key is to take the edge off of your hunger, not to eat a pre-meal meal!
    Dinner: Don’t leave out any of your favorites. Thanksgiving only comes once a year for Pete’s sake! The key is portion control. Fill half of your plate with veggies and the other half with the traditional fare! Use this plate diagram to help you:
  4. DON’T pass up the pumpkin pie!
    Eat a small slice and taste it…I mean really TASTE it! Go ahead and have a dab of whipped cream if you enjoy it.
    When you’re done eating remove yourself from the table, otherwise you’ll continue picking at that mangled turkey carcass…not so appetizing when you think of it that way, is it?

YOU control food, it doesn’t control you. Even on the biggest calorie-gobbling day of the year…YOU control food.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Click here for Melanie’s favorite Sweet Potato Casserole recipe! So good…so worth it!

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