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2020 Thanksgiving Buffet Rules & Holiday Eating

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Friday, November 20, 2020

Buffets, parties, and holidays we seem to lose our minds and live like there is no tomorrow. Forgo the "last supper" mentality! Remember, like any other day, you will be faced with choices, so it's just another day. Thanksgiving is a single day in November, and Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa, etc. is a single day in December, New Year's is a single day in January. The holidays do NOT include all the days in between - unless I let them! Don't make it a 4 - 6 week free for all. Use the days in between holiday/party occasions to stay strict with your diet and exercise. The other days use buffet rules and be mindful of what you are doing. Focus on weight maintenance if weight loss seems a stretch.

Buffet Rules

1) First, do not get overly hungry by skipping meals like breakfast and lunch.
2) Limit alcohol. Drink a low-calorie beverage.
3) Before taking food, look at the whole spread to decide what you REALLY want to eat - limit variety.
4) DO NOT 'take a bit of everything'. Typically one plate of buffet food and dessert will be over 2,000 calories!
5) Plan your Plate Model which means - 1/2 plate is fruit & veggies, 1/4 proteins, 1/4 grains which include high carb veggies - potato, corn or carrots.
6) Remember portion size.
7) Choose foods that look like they did before it was cooked - peeled shrimp, fresh fruit & veggies, etc. not breaded or made into something else like apples made into pies. Avoid fried/deep-fried foods.
8) Don't touch the Caesar salad or spinach dip, the dressing is loaded with sodium/salt and calories.
9) For high-calorie options focus on ONLY 1 or 2 and think of it as 'a controlled indulgence'.
10) This is a good time to skip a bun or any food that isn't really 'special'.
11) Have a clean perimeter around the rim of the plate (don't have food stacked/pushed out to the edges) or use a 9" plate.
13) One plate only, no seconds.
14) If a food does not seem very tasty, do not eat it. Try to leave a bite of something on your plate.
15) Make the plate of food last at least 20-minutes.
16) Before the meal look up the calorie content of foods you likely will eat.
17) My goal is still 500 calories and any calories I have saved during the day or week.
18) Avoid food pushers - politely decline high-calorie food. 'Thanks, it looks delicious maybe I will have some later'.
19) Drink lots of water with your meal.
20) Consider eating a light snack (apple or boiled egg) BEFORE a big dinner to help keep appetite in check.
21) Take some of your own food along ie. salad, apple slices, etc.
22) Avoid party snacks and appies before a meal.
23) Before the meal don't linger around snacks (vulture circle).
24) Treat appetizers as a meal, usually at least 400 calories (appies plus dinner = 2 meals NO!)
25) Turn from/keep your eyes away from the food. Focus on people.
26) Stop eating when you're 80 to 90 percent full, not 120 percent
27) Burn it to earn it - increase your exercise this week.
28) Continue nutrition tracking each meal even if you have to guess-estimate.
29) Daily weigh-ins.
30) Quickly regift chocolates, etc. but let people know in advance no food gifts.
31) Be the one who suggests going for a walk (distancing of course.
32) Before and after each buffet read this list. How did you do?
33) Set a Jan. 1st Weigh In Target Weight today!

This year is quite different for many of us. Maybe some of us will do Thanksgiving in July or have video calls with family and friends. Regardless let's find reasons to give thanks.

*** New - Pretend you are a food critic. Consider each food on your plate as a sample and you are going to choose only the very best foods. Note each detail of appearance, taste, texture, temperature, and smell. Slowly take a tiny taste of each one, and decide if it meets your expectations and gives you pleasure. On the second small taste do you recognize a taste or something not to your liking? That is a food to leave till last and maybe you won't eat it at all.

I love buffets, especially Indian buffets so I need to exercise control. These rules help me enjoy the food without the guilt. I make better choices about what goes on my plate and the quantity.

Also, I am mindful of Prof. Brian Wansink study that states - your weight is likely the lowest it will be for the rest of the year unless you TAKE IMMEDIATE action... upcoming events like Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, parties, etc. are all occasions where we tend to overeat or make poor food choices. Weight gained in these last weeks of the year can take up to 5 months to take off in 2021!

2021 Winter 5% Challenge!

This is your invitation! Are you looking for a way to get fit, lose weight, and have fun along the way? Check out the 2021 Winter 5% Challenge! Team members will work towards losing 5% of their starting weight in 8 weeks by participating in team challenges that focus on exercise & healthy lifestyle habits. Members in maintenance are also welcome. Let’s have fun, make new friends and get in shape! Start date Saturday, January ? 2021

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