Enjoying Thanksgiving with No Post-Thanksgiving Guilt

Here are a few tips to help you enjoy Thanksgiving in a manner that doesn’t leave you with horrible regrets the next day:

  • Start with prayer, asking God to direct you by His Spirit in glorifying Him through your enjoyment of his bounty and acknowledgment of His grace. Remember that “all things are permissible, but not all things are beneficial.” But this doesn’t mean anything is off limits, because Jesus declared all food “clean.” Yes, you can eat yourself silly, but do you really want to feel horrible later on? (See Gal. 5:16, 1 Cor. 6:12, and Mk. 7:19.)
  • Do not starve yourself or stringently diet just prior to Thanksgiving. Deprivation in the days before will result in holiday overeating to compensate for all you’ve recently missed out on.
  • Don’t plan to diet immediately after Thanksgiving is over. The “eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we shall diet” mentality is a guarantee you’ll eat much, much more on the holiday than you would if you knew you could still eat tasty foods after the holiday is over.
  • On Thanksgiving, eat only the foods you really, really like and avoid the other available foods, even if it seems “healthier” to eat them. Absolutely love stuffing and gravy but could take or leave the turkey? Go ahead and put turkey on your plate to be polite and socially acceptable, but then eat only the stuffing, leaving torn turkey pieces on your plate. Do you really have to be healthy on this one holiday? Start thinking about including all the food groups over the course of a few days instead of every single day.
  • Slow down and savor your food. When you enjoy what you’re eating, you will find you’re satisfied with less.
  • If dessert is important to you, keep it in mind from the very beginning of the big meal. Leave out the pickles or olives so you’ll still have plenty of room for pie. Or stash a piece of pie somewhere so you can have it later, or the next day, when you aren’t already full and will really enjoy it.
  • Fill yourself with more than just food. Take in the celebration and the meaning behind it, the smells, the hugs, catching up with people you rarely see, the reminiscing, and the traditions particular to your family.

When by the end of Thanksgiving Day you find you are satisfied without feeling bloated, guilty, and physically uncomfortable, there will be even more for which to give God thanks.

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