Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Eating Check-In: Thanksgiving Strategies

Once again I forgot to weigh in on my home scale this week. I'm off-kilter because our whole family is headed to Virginia on Saturday for Thanksgiving week, and I've moved all my runs and other workouts up so I can get my long one done on Friday instead of Saturday (which will be its own kind of long run with two little kids on two planes across two time zones).

Yesterday at weight training I did weigh myself on the gym scale and came in at 130.8--better than last week. The work pants are feeling looser, too. With most of the kid illness behind us for now, we're back in a better groove at home with planned, healthy meals. The Halloween candy petered out quickly at work, which also helps. It may be the Calm before the Storm of Food next week, but I'll take it.

I'm on a team with four of my work-mates for a program sponsored by our employer called "Hold for the Holidays." (Yes, the city government in Boulder is health-focused too!) The object is for each team to collectively gain no more than 2 pounds per member (we were all weighed in private a week and a half ago) and to encourage each other in healthy habits throughout the holiday period. For our group that means we can collectively gain no more than 10 pounds. Each week we get mailings with strategies to help cope with the food deluge. For Thanksgiving, here are some of their suggestions and how successful I think I'll be at them:

Work activity in wherever possible. Walk the dog. Play football outside instead of watching it on TV. Take a family stroll after dinner.
I don't think this will be a problem. My sister-in-law (and Dan's family as a whole) are good at moderation and healthy habits. Plus, my running program is about to really ramp up the miles. I have an 18-miler scheduled for a week from this weekend. I'll run it in Virginia. Let's hear it for sea level!

Use a small plate for your meals.
Um, I can't say I expect I'll be really good about this.

Don't starve yourself ahead of the big holiday meal. Eat breakfast and lunch as usual.
I always eat breakfast. I am incapable of starving myself for any reason. This recommendation should be just fine.

Think about which "treat" foods you really really like and which you're OK passing on. Resolve to skip the passers in favor of the must-haves.
I will try to do this. I love pumpkin pie and cookies. I'm OK skipping anything meaty and anything creamy. That said, I don't know what tasty things will be served on Thanksgiving or Dan's birthday, which is the next day. Dan's family contains a number of excellent cooks. I may be doomed to stuffing myself on everything!

What about you? Will you adhere to that advice? Got any tips not mentioned here for managing the gravy train?


  1. I have no advice. I've named my maternity pants my Thanksgiving dinner pants, so I think you can guess about my plans for eating this year. Next year I'll be going for small portions and skipping anything I don't love.

  2. Have a great trip!

    Next week is a tough one for me too birthday and thanksgiving = way to much eating.

  3. Mostly I try to keep exercising and not over do it on the food. It is so hard though with all that abundance of yumminess staring me in the face!

  4. these are all good tips! i will try my best, too. it is HARD though! i hope you have a wonderful vacation with your family. wish i lived closer to where you are going to be!!

  5. Try a little bit of everything that looks good - and I mean little bit - on the first round. Some stuff looks great but doesn't taste that wonderful {pot luck Thanksgiving!} so rather than end up with a huge pile of mediocre mashed potatoes you have only a little bite and can justify another trip for stuffing or dessert!

  6. I think it's okay to eat what you want on the actual day of Thnks, but then thta's it. It's the weeks of leftovers that gets me...

  7. Hide the scale until after New Years!!! Have a great Turkey Day and Happy Birthday Dan!!!

  8. Traveling and eating are so hard. I always do really well the first couple days and then it gets too hard. Especially if we go out to eat. Be strong, girl - you can do it!!!! :)

    Have a fantastic trip. Can't wait to hear about it when you return.

    I'm doing a little blogger gift exchange, if interested (on my blog).

  9. "Small plate" on Thanksgiving? I don't think that will be possible for me. I'm more apt to follow Kathy's advise...hide the scale! :)

  10. Have a great trip and good luck with the kids on the plane! I like the small plate idea and I use that one a lot at home. I don't love a lot of Thanksgiving food and I hate pumpkin pie, so I usually don't go too crazy on Thanksgiving. Now all the holiday baking that will be happening after Thanksgiving is a different story. Enjoy those 18 miles at sea level!

  11. That 'hold' program sounds very cool! As long as I stay active I'm pretty good....usually....within reason.
    Have a great trip girl!

  12. I like the advices. I have some doubts about the small plate, I would risk to eat 2 small plates instead of a normal one.
    Have a great trip.