How Not to Freak Out About Food on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is the start of the holiday season, a time of celebration and connection- often around traditional and delicious foods. As much as we look forward to family, and the delicious foods that only come this time of year, difficult emotions can be a difficult side dish to digest. It can be all too easy to be tempted to overindulge by the abundance of delicious foods. Following the tips below can help you cultivate more mindfulness and gratitude around the Thanksgiving table this year.

1. Start your day with breakfast

It can be tempting to skip breakfast to compensate for the anticipation of eating a decadent dinner. In reality, you'll likely be extremely hungry by dinner time and more likely to overeat. Starting your day with a moderate breakfast with some healthy fats and protein will keep you satisfied until dinner, allowing you to make more conscious decisions to choose those foods you enjoy the most!

2. Check in with yourself

It can be helpful to check in with your hunger level throughout the day. On a scale of 1 (starving) to 10 (extreme fullness), aim to stay in the middle range. It can be a long day of eating and maintaining a satisfied feeling allows you to properly digest your food and lets you enjoy a variety of holiday favorites throughout the day without feeling sluggish or guilty.

3. Don't feed your boredom or your emotions

If you find yourself bored, lonely, or triggered by your Thanksgiving circumstances this year and find yourself endlessly snacking, ask yourself what part of yourself you might be feeding or comforting. If the answer isn't true hunger or enjoyment, consider another self-care activity that could be more comforting.

4. Savor the flavors and use your senses

Thanksgiving food is amazing, and a once a year experience! By eating mindfully, you can truly relish each dish and be aware of when you've had enough to satisfy your hunger and enjoyment. Chewing slowly will also help you digest your food better and is linked to overall better health. Invite all your senses to the table too. Smell the aromas, see how decadent the dishes look at the table, hear the chatter of loved ones, hug a loved one (or send virtual hugs this year!), and obviously, taste all the amazing dishes.

5. Practice Gratitude

Take time to be grateful for the people you're able to share the holiday with, the resources and people it took to bring the food from the Earth into your kitchen, and for the time and love that went into the preparation. Share your appreciation for this special time of year, and what a year it's been. Despite its challenges, we have much to be grateful for and celebrate!

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