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Thanksgiving Damage Control

Tis the season to indulge! Thanksgiving is known for many things to many people; from those crazy relatives being in town, to a big game on the TV or in the yard, to the afternoon crash that always occurs… all are synonymous with Turkey Day. Though these things may vary from household to household, one thing remains consistent in almost every home that day… FOOD and LOTS OF IT!

When I say lots, I mean it. Did you know that the average person consumes approximately 2-3 times the allotted daily caloric intake this designated day of gluttony. That’s like eating three plates worth of food per meal! Talk about belt buster! Keep in mind your fist is generally about how big your stomach is.

For many, this is just what comes with Thanksgiving and is well, a norm. However, for many others this may be a cause for concern. Many people are trying to tame there Thanksgiving cravings with a healthier them in mind. This may come as a challenge, and understandably so!

That’s why we devised a few tricks to help you through the day… and your waistline…

Game Plan:  This is probably one of the more important things to consider. Try taking time before everyone starts to show up (could be days prior, but remind yourself on the day of) to mentally say I CAN HAVE WHAT I WANT TODAY… BUT… I AM CHOOSING to only eat this and that in MODERATION. This may seem simple and silly, but I promise you, it makes the world of difference having your head in the game prior. Now you may wonder why say I CAN and instead of CANNOT… well that’s where psychology comes into play. No matter how controlled we may think we can be, we have a habit of dropping that ability to control when we have a good excuse… such as Thanksgiving. More often what happens is you say cannot, cannot, cannot, and then can a little, and then can a little more, then a little more than that… etc. Typically, we just end up eating more of the things we say we cannot, just in a shorter period of time. When you say I can, BUT in moderation or I don’t want to right now, you maintain control and your attention is more on your actual hunger and less on your appetite… which will always be in flux.

Own Your Space:  This one is simple… if you’re standing next to a bowl of candy… what are you likely to do?… eat a piece candy, and another, and another… and so on. Thanksgiving can be like being in a bowl of savory candy all-day long. So if you tend to hover in the kitchen and not in the preparation in the kitchen, try moving elsewhere. Go watch the game, go converse with family, go somewhere food is not sitting right in front of you assuring its place on the forefront of your mind.

Alcohol Consumption:  Most of us like to have a few beers or a favorite cocktail to help loosen up and unwind. Now there is nothing wrong with that… within MODERATION. An easy way to maintain moderation is by asking a loved one for some help. Get a sheet of paper or something to write on and with. Ask the loved one, or whomever doesn’t mind taking a 5 whole seconds to write something down for you, if they can tally each drink on the paper. This will be under the stipulation that you have to tell them you’re having a drink each time, with a specific cut-off point designated prior. This will work a couple different ways… first, mentally you are more likely to slow your pace knowing that there is a designated “no more than” amount… second, knowing that you are being monitored tends to slow people down… finally, you will have a known amount of consumption that you are indirectly in control of… so you could break your drinks down based off of alcohol content, or caloric value, or however you decide. Remember, alcohol has a habit of increasing your body’s ability to store FAT… just something to consider.

How to Eat:  These are the easiest to implement, but the hardest to execute sometimes. So, we don’t always have full control on what foods will be on the table on the big day… however, here is a couple little techniques to help maintain moderation. First of all, EAT WITH YOUR NON-DOMINANT HAND! Studies have shown that the average person eats about 30% less when using their non-dominant hand to eat. Second, try chewing your food… fully. Did you know that the recommendation for chews per bite of food is 40?! Most of us are lucky to get anywhere into the double digits for most things! On average, you may eat about 10-15% fewer calories by switching to full time chewing.

Get Active:  The final trick we have for you is just getting up and getting active. Do stuff like help out around the kitchen, take the dog for a walk, take the kid for a walk, play catch, tidy up, just about anything that gets your moving more on your feet. Getting up and moving and doing will allow less time for those appetizers to call your name. Even after you eat your meal and feel like sinking into the couch or combing through what are now leftovers, try going for a walk. It doesn’t have to be long. This will help the food digest, and help from more food finding your face… a 2-in-1!



Don’t let this holiday season concern you. Ease your mind knowing YOU CAN DO IT! Thanksgiving is a time to relax, give thanks, and cherish family and friends.

Ryan e1657920030149

Dr. Ryan Seifert

Natural Fit Physical Therapy

"We Help Adults 50+ Become More Active, Stay Healthy, And Avoid Slowing Down Without Pain Pills, Injections, Or Surgery."



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