Thanksgiving vs. Christmas

Well, Thanksgiving weekend is just about over.

I didn’t do too bad at the Thanksgiving dinner table.  However, I did go away for the weekend with my three oldest girls and ate way to many sweets!  But, a new week starts tomorrow…errr…today.  A chance to begin anew!

The weekend has has me thinking…which is harder on your health, Thanksgiving or Christmas?

It is quite common to gain weight over the holidays.  Food…especially the not-so-good for you kind, abounds!  But what’s worse, Thanksgiving or Christmas?

In my opinion, it’s Christmas.  Don’t get me wrong.  Christmas is a wonderful season.  Full of wonder and joy.  For myself, as a Christian, full of wonder and joy at the birth and sacrifice of Christ!  But, whereas Thanksgiving is a day or maybe a weekend to overindulge, Christmas is a season.

Advertisers have been enticing us with the Christmas season since the beginning of November.  But now Thanksgiving has passed.  Advent is upon is. It is officially the Christmas season.

What does that mean?  It means soon your lovely neighbor will bring a plate of holiday goodies to your door.  Eggnog may show up in your fridge, begging you to indulge it with a little nutmeg for a late-night snack.  Christmas programs with bags of goodies thrust in your hands.  Co-workers bringing Pinterest Christmas cookies to work, begging you to just try one.  And that’s just the beginning of the season.

If they haven’t started already, parties will arrive.  Family parties.  Work parties.  Parties with friends.  And what is a holiday party without lots and lots of food?

And on and on it goes.

So, what’s my suggestion?

Go in with a plan.  The holidays season should be a joyous time.  Let’s enhance that by feeling healthy and not guilty.

Am I suggesting NOT eating any goodies?  Absolutely not.  Only to have a plan, and stick to it.

Here are some suggestions:

  • No mindless eating.  Don’t eat in front of the TV.  When you eat, enjoy every bite.  When I’m trying to cut down on sweets, a simple piece of good chocolate can taste heavenly. Much more enjoyable than an entire chocolate bar eaten on the run.
  • Drop out of the Clean Plate Club.  This one is tricky for many people taught to clean their plates as children.  It seems engrained!  Even if we try to think small, often our eyes are bigger than our stomachs.  STOP when you are full.  I’m not talking Thanksgiving miserable full.  Eat slowly, and stop when you are starting to feel full.  If you’re in a restaurant here’s a great incentive–take 1/2 of your food home and you’ll get it enjoy it for the next’s days lunch!
  • Drink lots of water before and during a party.  You need at least 64 oz. a day anyway.  Drinking water will help you feel full and curb some of the urge to overeat.
  • Give food away.  Have too many goodies in the house?  Share!  Your kind neighbor doesn’t need to know you shared it.  And if she does find out?  Tell her it was just too good not to share.  Then tell her they want the recipe.  You’ll make her day!
  • Don’t use junk food as an quick energy source.  So often we do this.  The holidays can be so hectic.  And let’s face it, often this season is draining.  Keep forefront in your mind what truly gives your body energy.  Good rest, plenty of water, exercise and eating healthy will do so much more than that 30 minute boost you get from those truffles.  You won’t miss the crash either.
  • Pray and read your Bible regularly.  Spend time with your Lord.  So often I turn to food when what I really need is quality time with my Father.
  • Treat yourself.  Don’t deny yourself all of those fun holiday treats.  Choose wisely.  Enjoy it.
  • Don’t beat yourself up.  You are human.  More than likely, you will fail.  When you do, pick yourself up, and try try try again.

Here’s to a healthy holiday season!



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