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overeating at thanksgiving

Oooops, I Think I Did It Again.

I know, I know!!!! I feel it too. Too much turkey, too much wine, too much piecaken (yes, it is a “thing” this year). We have just started the “too much” season and I have already have had too much of it all. Dammit man! I don’t know about you, but every year this is what happens at my Thanksgiving dinner. Now mind you, this convo happens in my head and not out loud because, well, that would be a little weird and I want to be invited back next year. Proceed with my version of Tera’s Thanksgiving:

This will be the year I don’t over indulge. I got this!
Look at that turkey. Dad done gooooooood this year. *puts some on plate* That looks about like 4 ounces.
Green beans. Do, do, do. I love green beans. *little shimmy in my chair* That’s about a cup.
MMMMM! Mashed taters. Don’t mind if I do. *scoop, scoop*
Graaaaaaavaaaay, baby. There it is. Let’s go for a swim taters.
Mom’s stuffing! *head bobbing to my happy food dance jams*
Okay. Everything in moderation. I think I’m good here.
Napkin in lap.
Sip of wine. Nice.
Here comes the plane. Zooooooom. Chew, chew, chew.

everything goes black.

2 hours later I wake up from a food coma on my parents couch with the taste of pumpkin pie lingering in my mouth, stuffing stuck to my cheek and the top button of my jeans has popped. WHAT JUST HAPPENED?!?!?! I don’t need flash backs or someone to tell me what just ensued. My belly tells the story quite well. I just ate my weight in delicious goodness and I now have the dreaded “turkey day hangover”. OHHHHHHH! I never want to eat again. I am bloated, puffy and uncomfortable. The regret sneaks in and all I can do is question myself on why I did this again this year. I said I would not over eat, but here I am, an overstuffed turkey in a lump on the couch. So, what am I going to do about it?

Fast forward to the now. The discomfort is gone and I can breathe again, but the food regret is still there. I had a great time visiting with the family and made some fun memories, but over eating isn’t something I want to happen at every event. Christmas parties, Holiday parties, New Years parties – I still have a ton of them to go and I don’t want a repeat, so I am choosing to make a plan and do it differently next time. For the sake of jean buttons everywhere, here are 7 tips to help you (and me) beat the temptation of overeat and over indulge this Holiday season.

1. sleep.

The night before an event, try to get 8 hours of sleep. Insufficient sleep causes a decrease leptin levels and an increase of the level of ghrelin in your body. Leptin is that angel on your shoulder hormone that shouts “you’re full” to your brain when your stomach has had enough while ghrelin is the little devil whispering “just one more piece of pie” in your ear. Ghrelin is a jerk.

2. move.

Fitting in time for a sweat session can slightly suppress your hunger by lowering the levels of that sneaky hormone ghrelin the body. What’s more, getting a great workout may leave you feeling like a BEAST and you don’t want to over eat and wreck all the great gains you made in the gym. But beware of the “reward theory”. The “I just killed my workout and burned a ton calories, so I can/deserve to eat whatever I want” way of thinking will bite you in the butt, literally. You can completely negate an amazing workout with just a single piece of pie.

3. pre meal eats.

Eating a snack of a lean protein and a healthy fat before heading out to a party, especially if you are starving, will keep your blood sugar levels from dropping (which causes hunger) so you don’t gorge yourself when you arrive. Combining a lean protein with a healthy fat also slows digestion so your snack will stick with you for a while causing you to be less hungry later.

TIP: Shake up the all new Apollo Gooey Cinnamon Roll Protein Shake and eat a handful of raw almonds for the perfect pre party snack!

4. fiber.

Load your plate with fibrous veggies like broccoli, asparagus and leafy greens. Not only are they low in calories (nix the creamy sauces and dressing), but the high fiber content will fill you up. Like my mom always said, “If you don’t have room for your veggies, you don’t have room for dessert”. Note: You still have to eat moderate portions of lean proteins, healthy fats and complex carbs. You can’t just eat your veggies and go right to the treats.

5. meal appreciation.

Take time to appreciate your food. You are someone you know took the time to create a beautiful meal, so enjoy it.

  • Chew, chew, chew: Taste your food and take a little time to enjoy the chew. Savoring the flavors of what you are eating will wake up your taste buds and leave you feeling satisfied.
  • Put your fork down: Between bites, set your fork down. You don’t need to shovel it in as fast as you can. Taking a moment between bites gives your brain a chance to catch up with your stomach so it doesn’t miss the “I’m full” warning signal.
  • Take a time out: Between helpings, give yourself a time out. As yourself “Am I still hungry? Am I satisfied?” You might find that you want more food, but your stomach says you don’t need more. And before you take that 3rd helping of meat, don’t forget that dessert is still on it’s way.

6. water.

Drink water and then drink more water. Many times we mistake thirst for hunger and end up eating instead of satiating our appetite with a swig of water. Rule of thumb, drink a glass of water before your meal and between cocktails. Salty holiday eats and alcohol can be very dehydrating.

7. there will always be more.

Say it with me….there will always be more. You don’t have to eat all the treats, you don’t have to eat all the casseroles, and you don’t have to drink all the wine. Yes it is delicious and yes it is mom’s special recipe, but more can always be made. It will not be the last cookie you ever eat and it will not be the last eggnog you will ever drink, so remember this mantra “there will always be more.”