10 Tips to Avoid Over-Indulging This Thanksgiving

Overeating makes you feel sick, sluggish, and uncomfortable. After eating your large Thanksgiving meal, you may feel too full – and if you keep overindulging on leftovers, treats, and holiday sweets, you might pack on the holiday pounds. Here are 10 quick tips to help you avoid overindulging on Thursday and throughout the season.

  1. Watch what you eat. Many Thanksgiving foods are healthy for you, like cranberries, pumpkin, and turkey. Just be careful that you don’t cover the healthiness by adding sugar and butter. Most of your Thanksgiving selections should be whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Opt for fresh roasted veggies and fruit salads. When cooking traditional casseroles, use light versions of the ingredients and cut back on the butter and sugar. And remember, eat your turkey without the skin! 
  2. Don’t go hungry. Eat something before you head to the dinner party, so you won’t feel as hungry. Small, healthy meals throughout the day will prevent you from feeling starved and needing to overfill your stomach.
  3. Don’t snack. While eating beforehand is a good idea, don’t graze between meals or while waiting for food to cook. A healthy appetizer is fine, but calories and fat from snacking all day can add up fast. Snacking also gives the food more time to attack your teeth.
  4. Portion control. Eat small portions of your food. Once a heaping helping is on your plate, you may feel obligated to eat it. Choose smaller helpings and go back if you need to.
  5. Take breaks. Don’t just gulp down your food in one sitting. Take a break between plates to feel how full you are. Eating slowly will let your body make you realize how full you are before it’s too late and you’ve already eaten too much.
  6. Stop eating. Once you’re full, simply don’t eat any more. There will always be leftovers that you can eat later. Instead of refilling your plate, have a cup of coffee or hot tea while everyone finishes their meal.
  7. Exercise. After the big meal, head outside for a family football game or take a walk to help digestion. A little exercise will make you feel energized, so you won’t crash on the couch.
  8. Reduce stress. The holidays can be a stressful time, and stress may make you want to stuff yourself with food. Laugh with your family and relax to keep your body calm and healthy.
  9. Don’t multitask. If you eat while you watch TV, you’re not going to pay much attention to what is going in your mouth. Do one thing at a time so your meal can have your full attention.
  10. Drink water. Drink water to help wash down your meal. Pure water doesn’t contain any sweeteners or syrups, so it won’t fill up your stomach, increase your calorie intake, or damage your teeth like other beverages.
  11. BONUS – After your meal, put the leftovers away. Pack them up and put them in the fridge, and you’ll be less likely to graze through the rest of the day. Clean off the dinner table and play a board game!

The more you eat, the more food you’re giving the bacteria in your mouth to breed and thrive. Make sure you brush and floss after eating, and give thanks to Dr. Stewart for keeping your smile healthy. To protect your mouth from the Thanksgiving food fight, call 734.425.4400 to schedule an appointment with our dental office in Livonia, Michigan. We welcome patients from Farmington, Plymouth, Dearborn, Novi, Redford, and surrounding communities.