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Does Thanksgiving have to mean overeating?

Your grandma’s dinner roll recipe. Your mom’s stuffing. And your amazing mashed potatoes. Along with turkey, cranberries and all the other fixings, you look forward to Thanksgiving for weeks. With all this deliciousness served only once a year, do you really deny yourself?

Of course not!

However, according to researchers at the National Institutes of Health, most Americans never lose the weight they gain during the winter holidays.  The pounds add up year after year, making holiday weight gain an important factor in adult obesity. 

So how can you enjoy all these special foods without jeopardizing your health? Two words: Portion control. And we’ll add another phrase to that: customized just for you.

Published portion sizes are one-size-fits-all and that’s just silly. A 6’6” man needs more calories to just get through the day that a 4’11” woman. So how do you determine what’s the right portion size for you? Just look at your hand.

Going back for seconds during the same meal? Unless you took just half of your portions, don’t do it, or you’ve now eaten twice as much as your body can reasonably consume.

As for the pie and cakes, denying yourself completely only sets you up for failure, as you feel deprived or end up with your head in the fridge and a fork in the leftovers. Pick your favorite and have a small slice, about the size of your middle finger.

The holidays happen once a year, and good food is a vital part of family and fun holiday experiences.  Portion control is about listening to our bodies and noticing our fullness signals as we celebrate together.  

Still having trouble? Use these quick rules to help navigate holiday eating.

Questions about portion size or your digestive health? Call 773-238-1126 or click here to make an appointment with Dr. Darrien Gaston and Metropolitan Gastroenterology Consultants. Dr. Gaston is always happy to help!

Author
Metro Gastroenterology Consultants

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