Thanksgiving from all of us at the South Beach Diet! Having a plan to help you
avoid overdoing it at the dining table today is a good idea, but there's one strategy
that can be a recipe for failure: Fasting before the big meal. Total deprivation can lead to
extreme hunger, cravings, and, inevitably, overeating when you do sit down to
eat. Fortunately, there are better tactics you can use to sidestep overeating
on Thanksgiving and throughout the year. Here are a few to keep in mind:
healthy meals and snacks throughout the day. Enjoy a nutritious South Beach Diet–friendly breakfast and
lunch, opting for healthy foods like lean protein, wholesome veggies, good fats
from foods like nuts and extra-virgin olive oil, and nutrient-dense fruits, and
whole grains (on Phases 2 and 3). As always, don't forget to include your
strategic midmorning and midafternoon snacks. The trick is to continue eating
as close to your normal schedule as possible so that you arrive at the holiday
meal no hungrier than usual. With hunger pangs at bay, you'll be better able to
pass up the unhealthy foods and help yourself to South Beach Diet-friendly
options instead (think turkey breast and plenty of veggies).
in physical activity. Your appetite is suppressed immediately following exercise. Working in some
exercise also helps keep blood sugar levels in the normal range, which helps
curb cravings. So take a brisk walk around your neighborhood before heading off
to your holiday dinner or before your guests arrive.
Enlist support. A like-minded spouse, relative, friend, or even a fellow South
Beach Diet member on the Message Boards can motivate you to stick with your
diet and exercise plan during the holidays. That person can be the friendly
voice inside your head — or online or on the telephone — that
reminds you to stay the South Beach Diet course. At the very least, your
"helper" can encourage you to get back on track should you
snacks along to parties.
While there is usually plenty of South Beach Diet–friendly fare to choose from
at the Thanksgiving table, pre-dinner appetizers can be another matter
entirely. Pack a few healthy snacks to eat before the meal so you don't wind up
consuming the chips and dip or full-fat cheeses your hosts may be serving. Or
bring your own hors d'oeuvres, like hummus and whole-grain crackers, caponata
(an eggplant-based dip), or a colorful crudité platter.
yourself a few indulgences.
Go ahead and have a small slice of traditional pumpkin pie, a few pieces of
dark chocolate, or whatever family favorite you look forward to during the holidays.
Because the South Beach Diet is designed to fit into your lifestyle, you can —
and should — enjoy the occasional treat. Just be sure to enjoy a
small portion, savor every bite, and get back to following your meal plan first
thing in the morning.