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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Have a Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving!

With all the delicious foods likely surrounding you at Thanksgiving dinner, this eating-centered holiday can definitely do a number on your healthy diet. This year, don't let Thanksgiving set you back. Here are some measures you can take to avoid feeling overstuffed (leave that to the turkey) and insure you feel great throughout this holiday season.

1. Before Thanksgiving Dinner
Wait to eat until you are sitting down at the dinner table. It is so tempting to pick at the buffet offerings in the kitchen, but it's harder to control portions if you are standing up and snagging bites here and there. By waiting, you actually prime your body for digestion. The smells and sights of the delicious buffet trigger the production of extra saliva and digestive acids to help break down food. Giving your body time to prepare itself for food will prevent you from feeling bloated and uncomfortable after eating.

2. During the Thanksgiving Meal
Stop shoveling your food, and start chewing thoroughly. Taking your time to eat will not only insure the food is properly broken down for your stomach to start digesting (thereby preventing indigestion, bloating, and gas), it also gives your body a chance to send the signal to your brain that it has received enough food and is full. Eating too fast most often results in overeating and by the time you realize you're full, it's too late.

3. Post-Thanksgiving Dinner
Avoid lying down until three hours after the meal to avoid acid reflux. It can take up to 12 hours to fully digest your Thanksgiving meal, due to the inordinate amount of fat usually present. Instead, try going for a little walk around your neighborhood. Some fresh air will make you feel better, and the light exercise will speed up the digestion process. Afterwards, have a cup of green tea or peppermint tea, both of which aid in digestion.

And remember, even if you do go crazy and eat more than you planned, don't beat yourself up! We all overdo it once in a while and it doesn't have to be a huge setback. Just get back on your wellness plan the next day or maybe plan a cleanse for after the holidays. Be kind to yourself :). Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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