Thanksgiving Day Rules!

They say that hindsight is 20/20.  And as I glanced down at the calendar, plotting out the rest of my Fat2Fit journey, that reality hit me.  This was my journey, my schedule.  And somehow, I arranged to have my Fit2Fat portion of the journey end about 3 weeks before the holiday season began.  So let’s hit the first holiday directly – no use hiding from what could be the biggest “food” day of the year. Thanksgiving (a traditional American holiday) dates back to early settlers (Pilgrims) giving thanks for their blessings.  Granted, I doubt we share the same blessings today as they did, but here in America it is a great day generally filled with the four "F's": Family, Friends, Football, and yes, large quantities of FOOD.  And this reality leads to other established traditions.  Some of us won't eat anything all day until Thanksgiving dinner is ready, just so that we can fit a bit more in, and accentuate our "turkey coma".  Others sit overly-stuffed and watch football, using halftime as their own timed food challenge while we attack the pies and desserts.  In fact, it is the only holiday that I can think of where the entire point is a meal.  Sure, meals are important but what other holidays would be tossed aside without a 7-course feast?

The purpose of this post isn’t to make you drool or salivate just days before the extravaganza begins, but instead is to answer the thousands of questions of what are we (#teamdrew) going to eat on the upcoming holiday.  So I present the official Fat2Fit guidelines that I will follow come Thanksgiving.  Will I eat the delicious foods that my wife's grandparents will be preparing for everyone, or will I sit and sip on a spinach shake while everyone eats the pumpkin pie, turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, and stuffing?  The answer is yes, I will partake in some of the delicious foods and no I won't bring my spinach shake to sip on.  And for the cynical ones, its not because I’m going to the in-laws!

Here are the basic guidelines I will follow for Thanksgiving (and all holidays in general):

Rule #1:  This is Thanksgiving dinner, not Thanksgiving Week, Month, and Year Make sure and stick to your meal plans for the rest of the day, and for the rest of the week.  Thanksgiving dinner is 1 meal out of 5 this Thursday.  And it’s only 1 of 25 for the entire week.  Stick to your other meals throughout the day. Why?  You won't over-stuff yourself on one unhealthy meal (and you’ll keep your metabolism up!).

Rule #2: You don’t get bonus points for only having one meal Don't starve yourself and skip other meals just so that you'll "have more room" to eat more Turkey.  Obviously if you follow Rule #1 you'll have no problem with this one, but being overweight, I am starting to see how various “bend the rules” ideas pop up.  They do for me too.  Resist the urge.

Rule #3:  Stick to a realistic definition of a “portion” When you are at the dinner table, eat smaller portions of the good stuff.  If you know you'll be eating some of your favorite Thanksgiving foods, limit yourself to smaller portions (fist size - and this isn’t an Andre The Giant fist, people!).  If you follow this rule, you’ll be able to comfortably enjoy all of your favorites, and avoid heading back for seconds, thirds, or twelfths.

Rule #4: One dessert.  Wait let me be more specific.  One portion of one dessert! Yes, I said one (I’m suddenly glad so few of you know where I live.  I feel a Thanksgiving mutiny coming on!).  No need to have a slice of every pie that's there.  Coming back to random Andre The Giant references, a slice is a regular, moderate slice.  And if you don’t cut the pie, it doesn’t mean the entire pie is now a slice!).  Every holiday or birthday party I attend, I have a small piece of dessert.  I just do it in moderation.  Eat it slower too – you’ll enjoy it more!

Rule #5: Enjoy yourself! This is NOT a fad diet. This is a lifestyle Like I said on Dr. Oz, I would splurge a bit on the weekends and holidays while sticking to the rules above.  This way you always still enjoy yourself at parties or on holidays and yet you don't throw away all your results from the week by consuming 10,000 calories in just one sitting. In addition to the above, we will be sharing some healthy alternatives that you are welcome to try on Thanksgiving Day. For example, instead of a traditional cheese ball and crackers, my wife is making homemade almond and cashew butter to dip fresh fruits and veggies into. We will be posting some healthy alternatives on our site on or around Tuesday of next week. Hindsight is always 20/20.  And yes, I know that I could lay waste to the entire turkey if I was still on an unrestricted diet.  But circumstances have changed, and the test is before you.  Follow these rules, and you’ll be on your way.  Remember when we were getting ready to launch the fat2fit stage, and I told you to “commit to a better you, regardless of circumstance”?  Welcome, to your new circumstance.  Continue to commit to a better you. Happy Thanksgiving.