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Navigating America's Second Biggest Eating Holiday

It's no surprise that Thanksgiving is the day that American's eat the most food, but coming in for a close second is one you might not expect: Super Bowl Sunday.


Don't get me wrong, ONE DAY of eating is not going to make or break your healthy habits, but that feeling of being overly stuffed is simply not comfortable when you're trying to enjoy the game (or, if you're more like me, the commercials!).


Here are our best tips for avoiding that overly-stuffed feeling.


Don't "save up" calories for game time.


Eating less during the day, or even skipping meals to "save" your calories is probably the number one mistake people make in trying to prevent overeating. If you're overly hungry when you're presented with chips, dip, guacamole, pizza, wings, and more - your body's natural reaction is to overeat to compensate for restricting yourself earlier in the day.


Instead, eat regular meals leading up to the party so you're comfortably hungry when the food is brought out.


Eat the foods you love. Don't eat the foods you don't love.


Treat your taste buds like they're the queen of England. In other words - be selective with which foods you put on your plate by selecting only the foods you love.


Let's say you LOVE pizza, and wings are simply "okay". You might feel obligated to eat wings - it IS Super Bowl Sunday! - but you'll probably feel more satisfied if you choose to eat just pizza, and don't feel obligated to eat any wings. And typically, when you're more satisfied, it's easier to stop eating when you're comfortably full... which brings me to my next point.


Aim for physical comfort and a pleasurable experience, rather than a certain calorie total.


You might be inclined to think that eating the most pleasurable/tasty foods is a recipe for disaster. But think about what a pleasurable eating experience is. For most, that's arriving to a meal comfortably hungry (not starving), and then eating enjoyable food until you're comfortably full, then stopping.


What ISN'T comfortable is arriving to a meal starving hungry (or, not even being aware of your hunger levels) and mindlessly eating a little smattering of everything until you're suddenly feeling the need to loosen your belt, spending the rest of the evening with a belly ache or indigestion.


Ask yourself as you eat...

  • Am I really enjoying the taste of this food?

  • If I continue to eat at this point, how will I feel in 20 minutes?

  • Am I STILL enjoying the taste of this food, or am I eating just because there's still food on my plate?

  • Etc.

Give yourself permission to eat whatever or however much you want - and also give yourself permission to NOT finish your plate and NOT eat certain foods that you don't want.

 

Fueling your body is more than just WHAT you eat, it's feeling confident in how you navigate tricky food situations, your relationship with and enjoyment of food. If you're ready to feel truly confident in fueling your body, nutrition coaching may be a great option for you.