Thanksgiving is almost here. It’s a time for celebration and thankfulness, but it’s also a time of year when people who are trying to be careful about their weight can feel quite vulnerable. In a recent conversation with John La Puma, MD, he shared some suggestions he gives to his patients around the holidays. It’s a fresh (and doable) approach to the Thanksgiving meal that will allow your patients to participate socially without feeling anxious about (or destroying) their diet.
Three ways to approach this year’s holiday meal:
- One is that you start or end the meal with a walk, outside – no matter the weather – then you are on the right track. I think we’ve lost that tradition in our country, and it’s an important one; to hang out with friends and family, anticipate the meal, enjoy it, and then, in a way, recap it with a walk. You can even walk before you eat – and/or after – but it’s an important part of the day.
- The second is to really enjoy the food. Food is so much more difficult to enjoy if you have a huge amount of guilt about it – like, “I’m eating this and I really shouldn’t” or, “I wonder how many calories this is.” If you have decided to sit down and enjoy it, then really embrace it – and don’t worry so much.
- And the third – and maybe most important – is simply to use the right plates. If you have a choice, if you are the hostess or host and you are setting the table for people, try using slightly smaller plates; six-inch plates / seven-inch plates with rims. Serve the food on individual plates in a beautiful way; if you’re not serving individual plates, then put serving dishes on the table in a beautiful way. It helps people capture the delight of eating and feasting together, and with that delight and beauty, you feed both their eyes and their stomachs.
If you would like to download a PDF version of the tip sheet to share with your patients, just click here to print or download. We only ask that you keep NICABM’s attribution on the printout when you share it with others.
So, enjoy yourself – and have a Happy Thanksgiving!