Although the Thanksgiving weekend is one of gratitude, connection and feasting, it can also trigger food-anxiety for many.
I recall when feasting weekends such as Thanksgiving, would send me into food-anxiety/binge-shame tailspins.

I found that the more I tried to be controlled, the more another part of me rebelled against the rigidity. Not only did I end up feeling out of control with food and heavy with shame, it caused much gut upset.

It was awful!

Happily, the “shame-control-binge” cycle is long past, and I now enjoy a loving relationship with food. But this wasn’t an easy shift and took self-compassion and mindfulness practices that I still continue today.

If you can relate to any degree, I’d like to share two strategies for sane and enjoyable feasting, while keeping your waistline happy too:

1. Eat slowly: Whatever you choose to eat, whether it’s oatmeal or pumpkin pie for breakfast, sit down and practice the art of eating slowly. Take in your food. Chew… Taste… Breathe… Savor.

If you’re with kids or on the run, this can be tough, so use the ‘dial’. Do you what you can. Even just a bit slower starts moving the needle towards presence and mindfulness, so your experience can be more enjoyable. 🥰

Why do this?

Eating slowly:

– tells your body that you’re safe, triggering the parasympathetic nervous system (aka “rest and digest”), which optimizes your hormones and feel-good endorphins, and reduces fat storage

– optimizes nutrient absorption

– supports digestion and helps reduce gut irritability, bloating and gas

– gives your body the chance to let your brain know when you’ve had enough (this signal takes about 20 minutes)

– allows you to tune inwards and eat until satisfied (rather than full) more easily, and without feeling deprived

2. Stop at 80%: Practice stopping before fullness or discomfort sets in. Sometimes we don’t know where this line is, so it can take a little practice. Treat yourself with grace and compassion as you experiment with this.

As you aim to take the edge off your hunger versus eating until full, know that if you’re still hungry (different than ‘not full’) you can have more.

I recommend trying to take a few minutes, and perhaps a glass of water, before the second helping to give yourself time to receive the full-signal.

The slower and more mindfully you eat, the greater your chances of being able to stop are, before reaching discomfort.

These above tips are the TOP two strategies we coach in Precision Nutrition for weight loss.

They amplify the dining experience and enjoyment; support your waistline and optimize digestion; help you eat more intuitively, allowing your body’s inner cues to guide you; and provide a sense of satisfaction with less food, and without rigid control or feeling deprived.

NOTE: If you’re on a build and want to gain weight, then you’d want to do the exact opposite: eat quickly and until full.

Finally, if you’re still looking for that perfect recipe this weekend, look no further!

Whether you’d like a side dish, such as a vegan cheese pumpkin fondue, a main dish like a warming pumpkin stew, or a dessert like pumpkin pie (featured below), Impact Magazine has you covered with these top 10 vegan pumpkin recipes!