How Not to Overeat on Thanksgiving with this Super-Simple THANKS Technique

Will you overeat on Thanksgiving this year?

Yikes, am I setting you up for defeat? Quite the contrary.

I’m preparing you for a scene that may play out at your family gathering.

Let’s face it. Thanksgiving—an American holiday dedicated to being grateful—has a dark side.

On this special day that’s supposed to be about giving thanks, millions tend to mindlessly shovel in the mashed potatoes, candied yams, white-flour stuffing, garlic bread, turkey topped with gravy, pumpkin pie, etc.

Thankfulness gets drowned out by the carbs, sweets, and fats.

But this Thanksgiving can be different for you.

Today I invite you to envision eating in moderation on Thanksgiving.

Imagine feeling proud of yourself the day after Thanksgiving.

To get you started on this healthier path, you’ll plan ahead and take some super-simple steps—but all in your mind.

Let’s have some fun.

In keeping with the theme of this holiday, the first letters of these steps spell out the word, THANKS.

Here’s all you do:

  1. T… Think about how much you intend to eat on Thanksgiving. Think about how you’d like to feel the day after. Wouldn’t it be great to feel excited, pleased with yourself, and energetic? Think about your top health goals. Do you want to live longer, shed weight, have more energy?
  2. H… Hang out in your mind at your holiday feast before it actually happens. Watch yourself smiling while easily passing up seconds (or even firsts) of carb-rich dishes. See yourself politely partake (say, three bites) of desserts or rich dishes. Observe yourself slowly savoring the foods you do eat.
  3. A… Put appreciation back into this holiday. Appreciate everything about that night. Appreciate your family members and/or friends. Appreciate that you can all be together. Appreciate the delicious foods on your table.
  4. N… Notice any obstacles that may come your way. In short, you want to be on guard for anything that can stop your healthy intentions. For instance, family members may try to “push” you to eat seconds or thirds. Your host may say that you’ll hurt her feelings if you don’t take more. A relative may push your buttons by saying something insensitive, which may trigger you and make you want to overeat. Notice anything in that scene that can throw you off.
  5. K… Kick off your Thanksgiving and holiday season by feeling in control. Celebrate that you can choose to eat in moderation.
  6. S… Success is yours. See it now. You enjoyed Thanksgiving with your family, had a fun time, and ate normal portions. You feel proud, joyful, and in charge.

That’s a new way to give THANKS this holiday.

That’s it.

Take two minutes to go through the steps.

You can even do this THANKS technique a few more times before Thanksgiving while you’re running errands, washing the dishes, or cleaning your office.

FYI, this THANKS technique is loosely based on a scientifically validated process called “mental contrasting,” which is a self-regulation strategy that can help you achieve your goals.


See you soon with the most amazing, sugar-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, yummy dish called Twice-Baked Japanese Yam with a Macadamia Herb Crumble from the talented chef and nutrition consultant Lizette Marx.