Dive into holiday feast without overindulging


By Blake Glosson

The Thanksgiving feast is a tradition filled with good food, love and laughter, but it also leads to some unhealthy choices.

Luckily, you’re reading this before the highly anticipated holiday. There are ways to prepare that will help you avoid waking up on Black Friday wondering why you feel like you’re a small turkey heavier.

I know I can tell you about health all I want, but there is nothing I can do to stop you from eating your pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving. Don’t worry; you can have your pumpkin pie.

The reason people gain weight after Turkey Day has to do with the quantity of food consumed more than the type.

Eating delicious cuisines on Thanksgiving is a custom meant to be enjoyed, not abused.

“[It’s] important not to deprive yourself, but I also think you have to, you know, have a balance,” said graduate dietetic intern Rayanne Nguyen. “You can have a piece of pie, but don’t have five.”

It seems like common sense not to stuff your face with five pieces of pie, but there’s often a mindset on Thanksgiving which overrules common sense.

I know that sudden change in attitude because I’ve experienced it, too. It’s a frantic feeling, as if this is the one chance you’ve got to eat like you’re a king or queen. This is not the case.

“[We] think that on that day we must have sweet potato and we must have apple and we must have pumpkin pie with all the Cool Whip, with all the ice creams,” said Sheila Barrett, assistant professor of health and human sciences. “Nothing is wrong with saving some for another day. We don’t have to try to eat everything on that one day.”

Pies, pastries and other Thanksgiving treats are loaded with fat and sugar, and the calories add up quickly.

This is not the type of food you should gorge on.

If you want to pig out because it’s Thanksgiving, eat a salad before you start digging into the main course.

This is a great way to fill your stomach with minimal calories, leaving less of a temptation to splurge by the time you’re ready for dessert.

Another routine associated with this holiday is the “fat nap.”

In case you’re unfamiliar with the term, this refers to the holiday tradition of eating your weight in food followed immediately by sleeping. This is definitely not a constructive use of extra calories.

If you plan on taking a fat nap, try incorporating exercise into Thursday’s schedule. Exercise helps offset increased calorie intake and decreased energy expenditure.

Whether it’s a pickup football game, a family walk or even cleaning up and washing the dishes, every little bit helps.

“In general, Thanksgiving is all about being able to enjoy the company you’re with and also enjoy food,” Nguyen said.

Don’t rob yourself of joy this Thanksgiving.

Have a healthy mindset and be conscious of your decisions. This will make the celebration even more gratifying.