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Healthy Eating Tip: Eating in Groups

Thanksgiving is a gluttonous holiday, and when sharing a table with others it is easy to lose your moderate ways and over indulge in a foodie version of keeping up with the Joneses. I am here to remind you to stick to your guns and remember your willpower. I have a few tricks to share, just in case you feel yourself succumbing to the chow down peer pressure.

  • Sit next to the slowest eater at the table and match that person’s pace. Put your fork down when they put their fork down. Eating slower will not only aid your digestion, but you will feel full after about 20 minutes of eating and eat less in the time period.
  • Aim to be the last person to finish eating, just like when you were a kid and you wanted your ice cream cone to last the longest so you could taunt your siblings.
  • Always keep some food on your plate so when the hostess tries to push seconds on you, you can say you're not done with your first helping.

Remember to enjoy yourself, but don't let the spirit of the group gorge take over.


Francoisehardly Francoisehardly 8 years
I don't feel like over eating (too much) because I've been stuck at the same weight for months. I don't see the point of overstuffing myself anyway when I can have left overs for the next couple of days.
mtiger mtiger 8 years
It's Thanksgiving. Who cares? One meal isn't going to kill you.
javsmav javsmav 8 years
I'm running a marathon on Thanksgiving morning--I will eat as much as I want that afternoon. Although honestly, I hate thanksgiving food, so I usually just eat a piece of leftover pizza and a salad. oh, and apple crisp. All of which I will eat next Thursday without any guilt. Anyway, even if it's not a marathon, most towns have a 5 or 10K turkey trot. It's a great way to start the day and sets a good "tone" for the day.
plus_2_kid plus_2_kid 8 years
I agree with LaurenG22: It's thanksgiving - do it up. As for the rest of the year, I highly recommend the book "Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think We Do" - it talks about how to mindlessly eat 100 calories less a day, which over a year adds up to about 5 lbs, which is the typically annual weight gain for folks over 25. Basically,use a smaller plate/bowl/glass (It will make you think you have more on your plate than you do) and don't get seconds. And an oldy but goody, fill up on water before & during.
LaurenG22 LaurenG22 8 years
My philosophy: it is ONE meal a year, enjoy it. Eat seconds!!! :bossy:
Renees3 Renees3 8 years
Leene - we're just talking about one meal a year so I don't think it's a big deal. It's like the biggest meal of the year so I think it's a good idea to have a game plan going into it. I like Spectras idea of being the fetcher, I'll try that this year!
Leene Leene 8 years
This doesn't healthy (mentally). You would become paranoid with your eating.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i love these tips. but what if you're the slowest eater? that's me - i'm always the last one to finish - but i think that i like the 'leave some on your plate'. that's one that i haven't thought about but it's soooooo smart!
Spectra Spectra 8 years
LOL, I'd feel like a stalker or something if I focused on the person next to me and how fast they were eating. Besides, I already know I'll be sitting by my husband and he always eats super fast, so I'm not going to be matching his pace. I usually try to be the "fetcher" during dinner...I'll get up to get the butter or the salad dressings during the meal and I volunteer to clear the table. That way, I don't feel tempted to take second helpings. Another good tip: Have coffee as your dessert. If you put cream and sugar in it, you can indulge your sweet tooth for about 100 calories (or fewer, if you use sweetener and nonfat creamer). Much less damaging than a couple of pieces of pie.
emlod10 emlod10 8 years
eating at the exact same times as the person next to you...goodness i'd get pissed off.
Francoisehardly Francoisehardly 8 years
I usually eat lighter earlier in the day so I have more room anyway. And luckily with how my family eats, there isn't anyone trying to push more food on me. Well someone might ask, but if I say no no one keeps trying to push anything on me.
Renees3 Renees3 8 years
sounds good in theory but I could not eat sitting next to my dad (slowest eater) and match his pace. Seriously if EVERYONE at the table is done in 20 min, he takes at least an hour. I don't think the speed of eating is my problem. I just want it all!
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