“Full vs. Sick”

On the hunger-fullness scale, Americans generally feel stuffed or sick after Thanksgiving.  The goal is to feel a 7 (see chart below), i.e., completely satisfied.  More often than not, it is easy to feel anywhere between an 8 (full) and 10 (sick).  Here are three tactics you can employ to feel a comfortable 7 at tomorrow’s feast.

1. Sip versus Chug

Unless the goal is to be drunk (although, not a bad idea if you join my Thanksgiving Dinner), you can try following the one-drink-max-per-hour rule.  Additionally, sipping versus chugging will help avoid extra calories.  Most festive holiday cocktails include sugar cane or syrups, which can add 100-200 calories on top of the 100 calories from alcohol.   For diet-friendly alcohol choices read a previous DHB.  Not in that post: if you enjoy champagne, it is easy to sip slowly (due to the fizz) and low in calories (80-120 per glass).

2. Skip Seconds

What’s worse than one piece of pumpkin pie?  Two.  The real flavor and pleasant surprise to the tongue comes within the first few bites.  Second helpings of hors d’oeuvres (+300 kcal), appetizers (+300 kcal), the main course (+500 kcal) and dessert (+400 kcal) will account for consuming two times the normal caloric intake for the day.  This is how one teeters the scale from feeling full to sick.  Skipping seconds saves those extra 1500 calories, across the board.

3. Say No

Just because ‘Aunt Whoever’ baked a home-made version of green bean cream-filled casserole does not mean you need to eat it.  A simple, “it looks delicious,” is enough to satisfy the baker without satisfying your belly.  Plus they never actually watch you eating it (unless they are the food police, in which case, that’s just freaky and wrong!)  Better to save the calories on foods you wish to savor.



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