What to Eat the Day After Thanksgiving

I hope your Thanksgiving was everything and then some. It’s supposed to be! But maybe you overdid it. That’s okay. Really. Overeating in a big way once in a while doesn’t make a dent in your weight and health long-term. It’s what and how you eat most of the time that matters. Still, if you’re not feeling fantastic post-holiday, read below for some tips on how to eat the day after Thanksgiving to turn that icky feeling around fast.

Get moving.

No, this isn’t to “burn off” calories from yesterday. Exercise benefits you in so many ways, including making you feel better thanks to the happy brain chemicals produced during your sweat sesh called endorphins. And when you feel better, you tend to make better food choices for yourself too. Working out the day after eating extra food also means your muscles are loaded with fuel (literally – your muscles store carbohydrates in the form of glycogen and since you have plenty right now they can push extra hard). It’s a great opportunity to see if you can go a little heavier on the weights, or push a little harder during that bike ride.

Don’t starve yourself.

I know it’s tempting to “balance” out the calories by trying to eat as little as possible the day after Thanksgiving or a big splurge. Try to think back to any other time you’ve done that. Did it work? Or did you end up diving head first into the leftovers like you haven’t eaten for weeks? Yeah. This method usually doesn’t end well. If you can’t eat breakfast because you still feel stuffed, that’s more than okay. But do eat once you feel physically hungry, and drink plenty of water to help your digestive system process that extra food. (And yes, I mean poop.) 

Enjoy leftovers if it makes you happy.

I used to promise myself that I could eat as much as I wanted to the day of, as long as I wouldn’t touch the leftovers the next day. That never happened, and why should it? Sometimes food tastes even better the next day! Give yourself permission to enjoy those leftovers. Take time to put only what you actually like on your plate, find a quiet spot if you can (that means not standing over the counter with a pan and fork!), and savor every bite. If you find that certain leftovers call your name even when you’re stuffed, consider sticking them in the freezer to be enjoyed at a later date. It’s okay to take a break from each other.

Stop beating yourself up.

If you feel ashamed for eating too much, keep in mind that guilt and shame only work against you. Reframe your self-talk. Instead of “I can’t believe I ate so much – I’m so disgusting,” say to yourself, “I’m so happy I got to enjoy all that delicious food. I feel grateful and lucky!” If you are feeling uncomfortably full and bloated the day after Thanksgiving, the best remedy is time. Simply don’t eat until you feel physically hungry again, and then try to choose something that you know makes you feel good, rather than weighed down and heavy. How to eat the day after Thanksgiving really is that simple – no need to overcomplicate things!   

About Shapa:

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About the author: 

Sharone completed her Masters of Science in Nutrition and Education at Columbia University. Having overcome her own not-so-great relationship with food, she is passionate about helping others achieve their health and weight loss goals while finding balance. She enjoys hanging out with her two daughters, husband, giant dog, and cat, especially all together when shenanigans are involved. To learn more about scheduling a nutrition counseling session with Sharone, click here. For more tips and tricks for nutritious living, check out Sharone’s Instagram and Twitter.

Check out more of Sharone’s articles on the Shapa Blog here.

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