Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving - A Great Time to Lose WEIGHT? ...WHAT?

OK, did we read that right? Lose weight during Thanksgiving? Is that possible?

I was visiting Dr. Leigh Connealy today and she says that it's very possible IF you stay focused and make a conscious effort. When we consider that a Thanksgiving meal can weigh in with as much as 4,500 calories AT ONE SITTING (a two days worth of calories), it's easy to see why we gain weight.

So this is what she has suggested:

Balance what you eat with exercise:

If you don't even consider cutting back on your favorite dishes, she suggests that you plan to work off what you eat. Calorie Count's website has a great chart that lets you total up the calories in your Turkey Day, so you have some idea in what you need to do to repair the damage. If it's too much to work it all off, then maybe deciding to have a sorbet instead of the pecan pie will also work for you.

Of course, if you haven't jogged or exercised in a long time, then consider doing something more appropriate to your health and normal activity level and follow through.

Cut back on tasting while cooking:
For all those great cooks out there, we know it's important for you to taste the dish to see what spices are still needed, but maybe getting a friend or family member to help taste will keep you from overeating and make another person feel important by valuing their opinion.

Take supplements first:
I like this suggestion. About 20 minutes before sitting down to eat, take your daily supplements. Be sure to drink a full, 8- to 12-ounce glass of water with them. You will get that full feeling and find that you will eat less and you got your all-important nutrients.

Go easy on the alcohol:
Yep! It's loaded with calories! Try sticking with the sparkling water and a wedge of citrus or alternate alcoholic beverages with a glass of water to cut your calories.

Start with soup and salad:
Have a cup of soup (preferably NOT the one made with cream, which is loaded with calories) and a small salad. The point is to take the edge off your hunger and prevent gorging. Oh, I am so guilty on the gorging part. So I really like this idea, too. Plus these are very, very healthy!

Have some protein first:
After you've gotten your plate filled, try bites of turkey or other protein first. That signals your stomach that food is on the way and turns off hunger mechanisms.  Vegetarians can accomplish the same thing by mixing a scoop of protein powder in some almond milk or hemp milk and drinking it before the meal.

Put down your fork between bites:
Well, now that's a good one. Dr. Connealy says, "it's an eating utensil, not a shovel!"  LOL!! So, take small bites, and chew each one thoroughly to help with the digestion process. "It's not an eating contest. It's about remembering the things you're grateful for." Slow down and enjoy.

Leave food in the kitchen:
If you or your guests want more, let them get up to refill their plates. It won't hurt them and maybe it will even slow them down a bit.

Save dessert for tomorrow:
Or skip it altogether. Or take one bite and wrap up the rest for the next day.

Save leftovers in single-serving containers:
In order not to overdo it the next day, pack individual containers with about 4 ounces of turkey, an ice-cream scoop size portion of stuffing, and a few bites of sweet potatoes and vegetables. This removes the temptation to overdo it.

Well, there you have it. Some very good advice that's worth trying.  Dr. Connealy says it's far easier NOT to gain weight than it is to lose it. By following these guidelines, you can have a guilt-free celebration and not worry about which diet to start once it's over.  Great advice, Dr. Connealy!

And remember to give thanks for your many blessings.

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!!
Here's to your health!


  1. Hi Brenda, thank you for sharing your tips in keeping the weight in check during the holidays. I do try and balance what I eat with exercise and find it really helps. That and just trying to eat sensible, if at all possible. LOL I find when I am cooking all day, I tend to lose a bit of my appetite. Since I found out I am gluten intolerant, I don't eat those foods filled with calories like the baked goods and dishes with flour like the gravy, rolls etc. I am baking a gluten free pumpkin pie however~~ not going to tell the family so we shall see how that goes over. LOL

    Thank you for stopping by and your kind comment. Wishing you and your dear family a very Happy Thanksgiving.

  2. Great post, Brenda...I don't like to eat until I feel too stuffed, then I find I'm not enjoying what I just ate. I kept Thanksgiving dinner simple since I was so 'tired' from work. But I was able to get the pumpkin pie baked, and then dinner was Cornish hens, mashed potatoes, green beans, and homemade cranberry sauce. I put maple syrup in the cranberries instead of sugar and YUMMY!

    Well, off to breakfast, I hear that pumpkin pie calling my name...LOL...

    Love and hugs,
    Marianne xo

  3. Brenda, thanks for the tips. Yes, we do tend to get carried away during the holiday season don't we? I honestly do not like that feeling of "STUFFED"...think I am going to be sick feeling! This year at Thanksgiving I did not over eat and I actually was okay with it too! LOL! Hugs and blessings, Cindy