I love today. But it can also be the start of a downward spiral until New Year’s Day and then some.
Soooo, here are 18 fun ideas / tips for us to use so we can remain on point:
1. Your life isn’t a Normal Rockwell painting
We all have preconceived notions on how Thanksgiving should be. Try lowering your expectations just a leeeetle bit.
We can’t choose our family so we might as well make the best of it, as hard as that might be.
Are you going to see someone who always bothers and annoys you? What if you had to learn something from that person? What if you killed them with kindness? What if you removed all of your expectations about this person?
Why does this even matter? If we’re stressed or unhappy we’re more likely to overeat.
2. Wear your best belt and your tightest pants
It’s a lot easier to stop eating when we know we’re full. One telltale clue is when our clothes and belt start telling us. Sounds obvious, but stopping when we’re full is one of the harder things to do at the Thanksgiving table – when everyone else is helping themselves to seconds, thirds and fourths.
It will be easier to stop if we wear very tight pants because then we’ll have to push ourselves away from the table when we’re stuffed. We’ll just be too physically uncomfortable otherwise.
3. No Seat, No Eat!
November, and December are tough months that can get us beat…
Let’s not eat while standing, chatting or cleaning. Instead, let’s choose to eat from our seat.
Yes. Yes. I’m a (terrible) poet and I DO know it!
4. Save your calories for dinner
If we want to be a great guest and enjoy the meal the most, let’s skip the appetizers. A good basic rule-of-thumb: don’t eat anything that doesn’t require a knife and fork.
5. Hold a drink
Let’s make it harder to reach for something by holding a glass (preferably filled with water).
6. To drink or not to drink?
Is alcohol a trigger? Our irrational mind tends to get a lot louder after a few drinks. Alcoholic drinks are not only loaded with calories (especially the sweet drinks and the eggnogs) but they are likely to lower our inhibitions and might trigger us to eat more than we really want to.
7. Don’t talk politics
When it comes to politics, some people can go from calm to angry in less time than it takes to break a wish bone. Oh snap! If someone says something that annoys you – just let it………………
….go! If we’re annoyed, we’re more likely to overeat.
8. Focus on the special stuff
Let’s not waste our calories on large portions of food we can eat everyday. Let’s also limit the variety we have. Let’s make a rule: Only two items on our plate at any time. Having a lot of different items on our plate stimulates our appetite. Let’s make sure the items on our plate are special.
What does special mean?
Special means memorable. And to me, memorable passes this test: “Will I remember this in at least two weeks from now?”
9. The Broccoli Test (TBT)
Many times, we’re just eating food simply because it’s in front of us, and available.
Ask yourself, “Would I eat broccoli right now?”
If we wouldn’t eat broccoli, we’re no longer physically hungry. We’re just eating for the sake of eating.
10. Don’t make a diet faux pas
Just like we wouldn’t wear every accessory we own at the same time, we don’t need to go heavy on all of the sauces, gravy, dressings, etc. Less is more!
11. Small seconds is better than big firsts
Some people show their love through food. Research on memory shows that our Aunt Grace won’t remember how much we take, but she’ll remember if we liked it enough to take seconds, especially, if we announce it.
Try taking a little bit of Aunt Grace’s ‘famous’ mashed potatoes. Tell her how great they are. Then go back for seconds and say something like, “Aunt Grace, your mashed potatoes are so good I’m taking seconds!”
She’ll be really happy, and so will your body because you’ll actually be eating less – even though you’re going in for round two.
12. Slow down!
Seriously! What is the rush? Let’s pretend we’re food critics. Really taste each and every bite. Appreciate the texture, taste and smell. Let’s put our fork and knife down. Take a sip of water. Engage in conversation.
13. Forget the post dinner snacks
We won’t starve if we skip the late night turkey sandwich. This is a great time to focus on family. Besides, are we really hungry? Most likely, we’re just bored.
14. Plan activities
The holidays aren’t only about food, are they? They are about enjoying our company, having fun, resting, watching football, and laughter. How about planning a fun activity?
A football game, a big game of monopoly, or how about that game where you have to guess the word while receiving clues? You can’t say the actual word though. And there’s a timer…
Um…what is it?
Ah, I got it!
(See what I did there?) All these can be tons of fun.
15. Stop hiding in the closet
Eat whatever you like but only out in the open. No sneaking.
16. Think about how you want to feel tonight
Do you want to feel extremely stuffed and uncomfortable? So uncomfortable you say, “I’m never eating again!” Or so uncomfortable that it’s hard to breathe. Thinking about how we want to feel after the meal can help us make better choices during the meal.
17. What would it take?
Think about what it would take to burn off what you’re about to eat.
I wrote a very extensive article about this. You can check it out by clicking here.
18. Perfektin doesn’t exist
Most importantly, and this is somewhat counter-intuitive, don’t sweat it if you make a dietary mistake or two or five.
Just like any other day, Thanksgiving will have its ups and downs too. There is no perfect day much less perfect Thanksgiving.
Consistency isn’t about “starting over” or being “perfect”. It’s about keeping on going through the ups and downs.
19. Bonus! I’m soooo tried.
Word on the street is that the tryptophan in the turkey is going to make us veryyyyy sleeeppyyyy and tired and lethargic – but in actuality, chicken has more tryptophan than turkey does.
Really it’s the overeating, and lack of movement that drags us down. Bodies at rest stay at rest. Bodes in motion stay in motion.
Fact: Our actions actually dictate how we feel. Most people let their feelings dictate their actions. For example, they feel tired…so they’ll lounge around which only perpetuates those feelings. If we push ourselves to move around a bit, we’ll feel more energized.
Finally, from the bottom of my heart, I want to wish you a very happy, healthy, and fit Thanksgiving!
All my best to you and your family.
Your Body Tutor,
Why would anyone fear losing weight? We all want to be healthy and fit. We all want to look and feel amazing. It makes no sense…until it makes complete sense.
This is a juicy post. If you have trouble sticking with a diet and exercise plan, I’m confident this will give you many “aha!” moments. If you’ve been trying to cultivate healthy habits but are unable to stick with them, I’m confident this will help you as well.
Being that it’s juicy, I ask that you read it when you have some uninterrupted free time. Let’s get to it.
Without fail, whenever I meet someone and I tell them what I do, the conversation turns to all of the diets they’ve done in the past, including the one they’re currently on.
We all know people like this…
One month they’re eating ONLY xyz. “Nope, I can’t eat any of that. It’s not a part of my plan!” The next month, they’re eating only what they were just avoiding the month before. The next month, they’re only eating grapefruits.
“This is working so well! I lost 2 pounds in the first 2 days! Can you believe this?!?!”
The next month, “The best part about this is that I can eat as much fat as I want AND lose weight?!” as they’re chomping down on a triple bacon cheeseburger.
The next month, “Ya know, I’ve decided I’m going to become a vegetarian. I’m never going to eat meat again!”
The next month…
You get the point.
We all know these people…
…they go from one shiny new fad diet to the next without ever sticking with ANYTHING.
Because 90% of our success (or lack of it) comes down to our psychology. It comes down to our mindset.
No diet that is solely based on the food we eat (which is pretty much every diet out there) will ever solve why we gained weight in the first place.
Food won’t fix our emotional, stress and habitual eating. It won’t fix our compulsive and binge eating.
Food won’t get to the root cause. It won’t address the psychological and mental barriers we might face.
Food certainly won’t change our behaviors and habits. And it won’t change the way we think and react to food.
The best tactics, strategies and frameworks won’t matter if a part of us fears weight loss success.
In other words, the best diet and exercise plan won’t matter, if a part of us is scared to succeed.
For some, being overweight and out of shape IS the solution.
“But Adam, that makes no sense. Of courseeee people want to lose weight and be successful!”
Not so fast.
Let’s say in this case, success means using food only as fuel. <—- Good!
Instead of using it as a way to soothe, reward ourselves and suppress feelings. <—- Not what we’re after.
Well, there’s a few reasons why we wouldn’t want to be successful then.
If we’re successful that means:
1. We don’t have food as a way to temporarily escape or quiet our mind at work or home.
2. We might get attention from strangers and loved ones.
3. We’ll have to deal with our feelings such as self-doubt (because we’re actually dealing with our problems/challenges/etc., as opposed to covering them up with food).
4. We’ll have to start acting like the person we want to be instead of wishing and hoping we become that person. What do I mean? We’ll have to live up to what we’re capable of. Because we won’t have the “One day I will…” dream deluding us any longer – while we’re eating ice cream on the couch.
5. We’ll have to find OTHER ways to make ourselves happy besides using food.
These are very real psychological roadblocks.
Here are some from recent conversations I had with clients:
“I get way too much attention when I’m really fit. I’m scared I’m going to cheat on my husband.”
“My mom and I are the same size. She buys a ton of extra clothes. I don’t want to give that up. It’s like a bonding thing for us.”
“I’m scared of dating. I know if I lose the weight, I’ll have no excuse.”
“My husband is scared that if I lose the weight I’m going to leave him. He likes things the way they are.”
“You know, a part of me knows I’m not realizing my full potential. That unrealized potential feels daunting. And it’s so painful. So a part of me would rather be overweight and deal with that, than my unrealized potential.”
Hmmm. It’s pretty clear why many of us don’t succeed, right?
There are endless reasons. I’ve heard them all.
Until we identify and deal with our mental roadblocks, we’ll never succeed. How can we succeed when a part of us doesn’t want to? When a part of is scared to accomplish the very thing we set out to do?
Of course a big part of us does want to succeed. But a part of us doesn’t. That causes inner conflict. And when there’s inner conflict we do the easiest thing of all: take the path of least resistance. What does that look like? As soon as it starts to get uncomfortable, and we feel some emotions, we quit. Then we eventually get sick of ourselves and start another diet and continue the vicious cycle.
We’ll go from one diet to another thinking we’re “lazy” and “unmotivated” and lack “willpower”.
This is when the salesman chimes in, “It’s not your fault!” Uchhh.
But you know what? In this case, it’s not.
Did you know 10% of all bestselling books are diet books? If the books worked, there would be no reason to write them anymore.
Us MBT-ers are smarter than that. We know focusing on tactic after tactic, without the critical mental side of weight loss, is as useless as a screen door on a submarine.
This is all part of human behavior. This is what keeps me so interested in this game.
Sometimes, it’s not so obvious what our mental roadblocks are and it takes a little digging. Sometimes it is. But, knowing what they are makes all the difference.
I can help you. This is why we get the results we do. We don’t just focus on the tactics.
My question to you: What are your psychological roadblocks?
Message me and let me know. I read every reply I get. I’m here to help you.