How to Enjoy the Holidays (without needing to call the paramedics)

The holiday season is upon us and Thanksgiving is almost here.

I genuinely enjoy Thanksgiving because it’s an opportunity to be with family, take some time to reflect on how truly blessed we are, and of course, enjoy some delicious food.  I’m not sure about how Thanksgiving works for you, but for me, it’s typically a meal that includes foods I don’t typically eat throughout the year.

Because of this, in the past, I would indulge in everything (as much as I wanted) in the name of only getting to eat it once a year.  I would actually overindulge to the point of feeling gross, overstuffed, and like I need to roll myself away from the table.

Here’s a visual for you.  This was me after Thanksgiving dinner.



My husband used to be guilty of the same.  I distinctly remember a Thanksgiving probably 8 or 9 years ago, when my husband ate so much food that he was sweating profusely, rolling around on the floor in pain, and actually stated that he thought we needed to call 911 for him.  I’m laughing right now just reminiscing on it.

Now as funny as the story is, it brings up a good point.

Food FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is a real thing.

It’s easy to fall victim to this mentality.  We fall into the trap of thinking that we have to eat everything (and in large amounts) because we won’t get the chance to eat this food again.

But that’s just not true.  We will get a chance a chance to eat these foods again.  We ate it last year at Thanksgiving.  We will likely have the opportunity to eat it again at next Thanksgiving. But even more so, if we are honest, we can make any of the foods we have at Thanksgiving at any time during the year if we really want.

There’s no rule that says we can only make said food in November.  Even if it’s grandma’s special pie.  I’m sure she would indulge you if called her and asked for her it outside of the holidays.

The moral of the story, let’s skip the Food FOMO.  There’s no need to have a scarcity mindset around holiday foods (or any foods for that matter).


So here a few tips to enjoy your Thanksgiving meal without ending the day feeling like my husband (in need of the paramedics):


  1. Treat it like any other day.

It’s a day to be thankful and spend time with family, but aside from that, it’s just another day of the year.Treat your Thanksgiving dinner like you approach dinner on a regular day of the week.Of course, you will likely eat a larger variety than normal, but it’s just another dinner.Focus on enjoying time with your family and gratitude and less on the food.

  1. Get in a high intensity workout.

I know that you will probably have a lot to do in preparation for Thanksgiving dinner or you may be traveling but take 20 minutes get your body moving.Even if the gym is closed or you can’t make it, do a 20 minute circuit with dumbbells or even just your body weight. Start your day with movement to get your metabolism revving.

  1. Eat a balanced breakfast and lunch.

Don’t starve yourself in anticipation of Thanksgiving dinner.Treat your breakfast and lunch like you do on every other day of the year and eat a balanced breakfast and lunch that is high in protein and fiber.  For me personally, I typically make my breakfast and lunch on these days protein and vegetables because I anticipate eating more carbohydrates at dinner (did someone say pecan pie?).

  1. Fill your plate with protein and vegetables first.

When you are finally eating your Thanksgiving dinner, start by filling your plate with protein and vegetables first.Make that at least half your plate (three quarters is even better) and then use the remainder of your plate for starchier carbs.

Filling up on protein and veggies first is going to fill you up and you will be less likely to overindulge in the more decadent items like my personal favorite, from scratch macaroni and cheese.

  1. Stop eating when you feel full.

Even though we have your favorites, we don’t have to overeat them.  Stop eating when you actually feel full.  We don’t have to eat until we feel stuffed.  Don’t be like my husband and eat until you think you need the paramedics LOL. Eat until you feel full and satisfied and then be done.

  1. Relax and enjoy.

Chill out and enjoy your holiday.  Even if you do eat to much, it’s one day.  Your life will be just fine; it’s no biggie. Really, I promise.  Don’t try to overexercise the next day to compensate. Don’t decide to restrict your eating to make up for it.  Get back to business as usual on Friday.  All is well.

I love the holidays.  I look forward to spending time with my family, I enjoy the opportunity to slow down for a bit and relax, and I love spending time being grateful for all the experiences I encountered that year.  Spend the day wallowing in gratefulness and enjoy.

P.S.- If you want to receive exclusive emails about nutrition, mindset, and fitness, please sign up for my newsletter here –>

Share This: