How to Do Thanksgiving as a Weight Watcher

During Thanksgiving 1999, I consumed eight desserts throughout the evening after dinner. Eight desserts on top of three servings worth of a Thanksgiving dinner. I was 9 years old, and I spent all of the next day throwing up from eating too much.

This is my third Thanksgiving as a Weight Watcher. My first year on program, I gained 8 pounds the weigh-in after Thanksgiving. My family has a big Christmas party the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and the entire weekend became a nonstop binge on all foods. I was eating a lot at the festivities and snacking in between.

Last year, I had a two pound loss the weigh-in after Thanksgiving. I attended Thanksgiving and the Christmas party, and I still had a loss on the scale after the celebrations. I was really proud of myself.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving again. My goal is to have a loss on the scale during my Monday morning weigh-in. So far, I’m down one pound since Monday’s weigh-in, but I’m nervous Thanksgiving will ruffle up any achievements I have been working toward this week. The only person that can stop me from having a successful weigh-in is me and the holiday really has nothing to do with it. My choices are what matters most, and I’m going into tomorrow with a plan! Here are a few of my tips.

I’m going to use a salad plate for my foods tomorrow. I always use a salad plate when making meals at home because it tricks my mind into thinking there’s a full plate of food, and there is, but there’s a much smaller amount on a salad plate’s version of a full plate compared to a dinner plate.

Breakfast on a salad plate.

I’m going to eat my favorite foods tomorrow. There will be no “let me add extra foods to my plate just for the sake of trying it all.” I’m going to have my core Thanksgiving favorites: turkey, mashed potato casserole, corn, cranberry sauce, and stuffing. These are my “A team” of favorite foods and I plan to eat those for tomorrow’s dinner. I’ll also have a dessert or two, but certainly not eight! I’m planning to have a bit of the chocolate pecan bar I’m bringing to the dinner, and a small piece of apple pie because my Mom makes it specifically for me. Other than that, I’m content with not having any other desserts. Having your favorite foods on Thanksgiving wont cause failure on a weight loss journey. Attempting to normalize unhealthy choices and huge portions into your everyday routine will lead to a higher number on the scale. Success in health comes after a million good decisions have been made. One day doesn’t make or break you.

Changing up my exercise routine is another way I’m going to find success after Thanksgiving. I ran a Turkey Trot after work today. My gym is closed tomorrow and I have to work in the morning, so I’m unable to attend the Valparaiso Turkey Trot like I have in past years. I ran the 3.10 miles in my gym this evening and it was really tough. I haven’t ran a 5K since last year. After the first half mile, I really wanted to quit. But I told myself, keep moving your legs and eventually you’ll have moved your legs a 5K’s worth. And I was right. I’m extremely proud of myself. I felt so powerful when it was finished. When the gym opens back up on Friday, I’m going to run another 5K in preparation for Saturday’s Christmas party and to get back into the swing of things after an evening of heavy foods.

The best way to handle Thanksgiving as a Weight Watcher is to find what works best for you. Some people avoid the foods altogether. Others will use a smaller plate to better control portions. Sometimes people go completely off of the wagon. Whatever happens – that’s okay. Nobody became overweight due to one day’s worth of food choices. It took multiple decisions over the course of many days to get to where you are. The same goes for weight loss. Celebrating Thanksgiving, no matter how you go about it, will not have long term detrimental effects on your success. The only thing that can stop you from moving forward in your journey is entirely giving up. If you have a bad food day, forgive yourself and keep trying!

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