How To Conquer Thanksgiving -- Or Any Meal -- Without Weight Gain

We’ve all heard the tips to eat more slowly, focus on the conversation at the table and put your fork down between bites. While these are terrific ways to control how much you eat, here are some tips you might not have thought of:

1.  Wear something that fits nicely and makes you feel good about yourself. Or simply choose pants with a waistband over the elastic-waist variety.

2.  Set the table with smaller plates and bowls. If you have a choice of china, use plates with a higher color contrast. Studies show people serve themselves less if the plate is a radically different color from the food.

3.  Set the scene. Dim the lights. Put on relaxing music. These sensory clues will set the environment for a leisurely meal.

4.  Start with a big glass of water. Or be festive and sip sparkling water with a slice of lemon or a few cranberries before the meal.

5.  If you’re the cook, add a vegetable or two into the recipe. For instance, if you’re making dressing, add a lot of onions and celery. Or if you’re whipping up a pasta dish with the leftover turkey, throw in some steamed broccoli.

6.  Add a first course of a broth-based soup to the meal, preferably a soup with vegetables.

7.  If your Thanksgiving meal is served buffet-style, walk around to see what is available, and to make mental choices before you put food on your plate.

8.  To help tame your sweet tooth, end the meal with a cup of hot tea. Cinnamon, peppermint, chocolate or a fruit-based tea will be most satisfying.

9.  If you can’t pass up dessert, set aside a thin slice or small portion of your favorite dessert. You’ll enjoy it more later than you will immediately after the meal.

10. Finally, when you have finished what you chose for your meal, push your plate away, cover it with your napkin or move yourself away from the table so you won't be tempted to keep eating. 

Need ideas for homemade foodie gifts? Something to take to the office potluck? Ways to pep up your usual list of recipes? Browse our boards on Pinterest for some terrific ideas.


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