Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Something to be Thankful For: An Abundance of Good Food

4,000 calories, hundreds of grams of fat and a food hangover. I’ve heard a lot the past few weeks about how much people eat on Thanksgiving, how they’ll stay on their diet and how much exercise it takes to burn off the calories they consume. And, I get it, people are worried and feel like their confessions to a dietitian will ease their anxiety and keep them on track.

But, for all of those dieting and freaking out this time of year, I ask that you turn that attitude around to a little gratitude. Approach the Thanksgiving spread before you thankful that you have food on the table and delicious, nutritious choices to fuel your body and mind. Get rid of the food fear mentality and look at the plate before you a bit differently. Sure, be aware of what you are consuming – but do so in a “am I still hungry or did I eat enough and I can save this until tomorrow” type of way.

While I don’t advocate gorging on food, ever, a few extra calories won’t put a dent in your weight loss efforts if you are tuned into your hunger and satiety cues. Our bodies typically compensate if you listen hard enough. Eat too much one day and you probably won’t be so hungry the next day. Under eat and you’ll be hungrier the next day. You just need to listen closely.

Thanksgiving food should be enjoyed and shared with family and friends. After all, hunger is still a problem across this country and abroad. And food banks are in desperate need to make up their shortages. If you have food on your table, be thankful! And if it tastes great, be extra thankful!

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