7 Ways to Eat What You Want This Thanksgiving- And Feel Good About It!


We’ve all been there- skipping breakfast on Thanksgiving morning to “save up” for the big meal, letting out eyes be bigger than our stomachs as we plate our food, and collapsing onto the couch for the inevitable food coma that follows. While some amount of overeating is a part of normal eating, most of us would agree that we’d rather feel satisfied than stuffed, satiated rather than sick. Here are a few tips on how to enjoy your food and feel good about it this Thanksgiving, but first, a few words on MOUTH HUNGER.

We have many different types of hunger. Stomach hunger, mouth hunger, and emotional hunger are just a few. Mouth hunger causes us to crave a variety of foods, which is usually a good thing. It causes us to become bored of eating the same thing every day, leading us to eat a wider variety of foods and nutrients. Most of the time, mouth hunger is a good thing, but sometimes it can cause us to overeat. Because mouth hunger craves different flavors, if we have a lot of options available, it can override some of our normal hunger and fullness cues. By switching between foods while we’re eating, our brain gets a new sensation each time, making the food taste better and leading us to eat more. Now that you know what mouth hunger is, here are a few ways you can make sure it doesn’t get the best of you this Thanksgiving:

  1. Don’t skip breakfast- coming to the table hungry is almost a sure fire way to end up overeating. It’s also more difficult to make good food decisions when we are overly hungry.

  2. Stay hydrated- being dehydrated can cause us to confuse our bodies’ signals of thirst and hunger.

  3. Scan the available options- don’t feel obligated to take some of everything.

  4. Start with a small portion of your favorites- give yourself permission to get more as long as you check in with your level of hunger or fullness after your first plate.

  5. Use a smaller plate- while research is mixed on whether this helps people eat less, it at least gives you an earlier stopping point to check in to see how hungry or full you are.

  6. Slow down- it takes our body around 20 minutes to start realizing that we are full from the time we start eating. Eat slowly to better understand your body’s signals.

  7. Eat mindfully- really ENJOY the great foods you are having. Make it a point to notice something unique about each food. This could be the flavor, texture, combination of ingredients, or something else you like about the food. Family members usually love to talk about their recipes, so it can be a good conversation starter too!

Which one of these was most helpful? Do you have any healthy eating tips to share for Thanksgiving? Let me know if you apply any of these or have others to share in the comments below!

Emily FishComment