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Holiday Survival: How to Prevent Overeating

In my family, Thanksgiving tends to be a full day of nonstop eating. With all the delicious foods on the table, from turkey, to cranberry walnut stuffing, to real mashed potatoes and gravy, to the smorgasbord of desserts, you just don't want to stop. Here are some tips to prevent yourself from feeling engorged.

  • Ignore the appetizers and save room for the food you're really craving.
  • If you have the need to try everything, use the teaspoon rule. Take only a small scoop of each food rather than huge servings of each.
  • Talk and eat. If you chat in between bites, you'll end up eating slower, which will help you eat less.
  • Don't eat while watching TV. You'll end up mindlessly putting food in your mouth because you're distracted, and the food won't register in your brain, so you'll end up eating more. So take 30 minutes to sit down and eat, and then you can hop in front of the game after.

For more tips on how to prevent overeating this Thanksgiving,


  • Use a small plate. The less food you can carry back to your seat, the less you'll eat.
  • Don't say no to foods you love. If you deny yourself a slice of your mom's famous pecan pie, you'll just end up craving it even more, which may result in a 2 a.m. pie binge. So go ahead and cut yourself a small slice and savor every bite.
  • Skip the holiday beverages that are loaded with calories, and drink water or hot tea instead.
  • Keep in mind that you don't have to try everything. Relatives may try to push their new recipes on you, but just politely fib and say, "I'll get it when I go for seconds." Or say, "I already tried it and it's delicious. Can I have the recipe?"
  • Dessert doesn't have to immediately follow dinner. If all the cakes and pies are served before you feel ready to eat more, then make a little plate of dessert for yourself and save it for later.
  • Or if you've saved room for dessert, share a plate with your significant other. That way you can try a little taste of everything.


Join The Conversation
hmweis1 hmweis1 8 years
And I'd rather share dinner than dessert. I have a HUGE sweet tooth.
hmweis1 hmweis1 8 years
Good tips! I especially believe in the one about ignoring appetizers. Who needs appetizers when you have a great dinner coming up? I'll save the apps for Superbowl.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
The only tip I use is sharing dessert. Usually by the time dessert comes around, I'm full, and my husband has a small sweet tooth. He almost never finishes a serving of dessert. It makes sense for us to share.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I always offer to clear the table after the meal...I get rid of my plate so I'm not tempted to get seconds. And I never eat dessert...instead, I'll drink a cup of coffee with a little cream and sugar. It's usually around 100 calories instead of 400+ like some pies and stuff have.
Smacks83 Smacks83 8 years
I like the small plate trick. It always makes it seem like there more food on your plate so A) you won't eat more than you really want and B) people won't pester you about how "little" youre eating. Win-win!
nancita nancita 8 years
I have been doing the shared desserts thing more often. I find that a whole serving is often just unnecessary to satisfy me.
millarci millarci 8 years
Thanks for the tips. I've been dreading tomorrow, because my parents cook so well! This helps!
cupcakers cupcakers 8 years
thanks for these tips Fit!
krae85 krae85 8 years
I like the sharing desserts thing.
nv27 nv27 8 years
Makes sense.
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