Weight loss can be a life-long challenge for many people. It's hard to know what to do when there are so many diets out there making promises that just don't deliver.
When I was yo-yo dieting (most of my life) and trying to lose weight, I constantly felt like a failure. It wasn't until I discovered the ONE major barrier that was preventing me from losing weight and keeping it off that everything completely changed for me....My Inner Critic, aka., Inner Meanie.
Yep...you read that right.
We all have an "inner meanie." You know, the one that tells you "you're not enough", "that you ruined your diet, so what's the point," or says "you don't deserve to be happy," or tells you regularly that "you're ugly and fat," or "that you will never get it together or be successful at weightloss." Where do these voices come from?
One thing I know for sure; we all come into this world as a pure bundle of love. We are all innately deserving and worthy of a life of joy, abundance, happiness and love. But things happen; painful things...we believe what little Johnny down the street says about us, or if one of our parents tells us to be seen and not heard, and we start to put on armor...
One of my clients recently shared with me that when she was 7 she climbed a tree, and the boy below her looked up and shouted out that she had fat legs. From that point on, that little girl believed her body was ugly and fat. And as you can imagine, she struggled with yo-yo dieting, binge eating and weight loss her WHOLE life...no surprise there.
For most of us, our inner critic starts when we are young. Mine started around the age of 12 when my body began to change. There were a lot of things modeled to me in my household that made me believe I needed to have a perfect body to be valued and loved. My family life also felt of control a lot and so I started to control my food as a way to feel safe.
As I got older, my inner critic became meaner and meaner. I literally hated my body and was full of self-loathing. This is how all the food craziness and yo-yo dieting started. Over time I put on roughly 30 pounds, and hated myself even more. I was emotional eating, overeating and binge eating regularly, which fed my inner-mean girl. My body was a result of all the mean, horrible things I said about myself, and all the choices I had made.
It wasn't until I started to look deeper and work with my coach, that I truly began to understand that my inner-meanie was actually the biggest barrier to my weight loss.
Think about it...why would my body (or anyone's body, for that matter) want to release weight, and be healthy if all I was doing was beating it up, pinching it, calling it ugly and scoffing at it in the mirror??? And then, I would feed it bad food to make matters even worse.
As my friend, Christie Miller says, "The stories you tell yourself about your body create your current results. The more you say negative things, the deeper the stories get buried in our cells and psyche. These stories, negative thoughts and limiting beliefs are keeping you stuck in a body you hate, at a weight you despise and from actually living a life you really want."
If you want to feel better about yourself, and lose weight, and be happy then you must change the stories you tell yourself, including the nasty, comments loaded with self-loathing and self-hate.
Take some time to notice the things you say to yourself.
What is the constant dialogue running in your head. Are you extremely hard on yourself? Is nothing ever enough? Do you constantly feel rejected and unworthy? What stories are you telling yourself about your journey with weight loss? What do you say about your body regularly?
Self-criticism tends to become habitual over time. We sadly get used to saying and hearing the negative internal commentary. The way to start to shift it is to first become aware of it.
Track your thoughts for a few days and see what you notice. Write them down.
As humans we are wired to be negative, it's part of our survival mechanism, but you can change this. Every time you hear yourself say something mean, turn it around right then and there. Tell yourself beautiful, loving things that will help you lose weight and live a life you love. You won't believe it at first, but that's ok...keep going anyway.
This will take practice and mindfulness, but you can do it. You CAN change your thoughts about yourself over time. I am a shining example of that.
Remember, you must take responsibility for your own growth and transformation. No one else will do it for you and it all starts with your mindset and shifting the things you tell yourself.
Would you EVER say the mean things you say to yourself to your child or best friend? Absolutely not. So why do you say them to yourself???
The one inside of us that is mean, is the one that was hurt at some point in life. We pushed that part of us aside, for fear that the pain would be too much to bear. That forgotten part of us is where the inner-meanie was born.
Your Inner Meanie is there for a reason, actually. It's there to get your attention. The way to calm the inner-meanie is to give it lots of love and compassion in the form of self-care, acceptance and appreciation.
Start to appreciate yourself and all the things you bring to the world. Focus on the reasons why the people around you love, and care about you. Write those things down and read them often.
When your inner-meanie starts to spout, tell her or him that you hear her/him, but you're going to choose to think something else, something more empowering.
Try these things on and practice them over and over. The most empowering way to lose weight and keep it off for good is to shift your mindset and to fall in love with being kind to yourself.
To learn more about shifting your mindset when it comes to weight loss, check out my Blog on How to Ditch the Diet Mindset.
The most empowering way to lose weight and keep it off for good is to shift your mindset and to fall in love with being kind to yourself.
The number one biggest issue that most of us have when it comes to losing weight and keeping it off for good is that we are stuck in a Diet Mindset.
This mindset was created by the billion dollar Diet Industry (no surprise there) to keep us buying products that will take us to the "promise land" of weight loss. The problem is, this mindset keeps us stuck in the suffering with food and keeps us yo-yo'ing up and down with our weight. I'm sure you know by now that dieting does NOT work for long-term sustainable weight loss.
In fact, dieting messes with the metabolism so much it almost makes it impossible to keep the weight off when we go back to eating without all the crazy restriction. If you have to be on a diet to maintain a certain weight, then that's not the right weight for you. Check out this study done on Biggest Loser Participants confirming this.
In my most recent live workshop, I shared my 5-step framework on How to Ditch The Diet Mindset. I am sharing it here with you so that you can have the very same framework that is part of my bigger 12-week Food Freedom Mastery LIVE group program.
I want you to be able to understand how you can immediately start to shift out of diet mindset into a more empowering way of being with food and weight loss.
If you have to be on a diet to maintain a certain weight, then that's not the right weight for you.
Knowing your food history is a big component in healing your issues with food and yo-yo dieting. If you are someone who has been struggling with weight issues since you were a child, or found yourself using food for comfort, then it's important to look back and understand why.
Many of us take in the information that is being modeled to us from our parents and turn them into our truths. We also take in information we hear from other people, especially our peers. One of my coaching clients shared with me that when she was 7, she climbed a tree, and the boy down below told her that her legs were fat.
From that day forward, at a very young age, she formed the belief that something was wrong with her, and so she started to turn to food for comfort. There are millions of instances like this that happen when we are young.
I was constantly made fun of for being flat-chested and having a big butt. These things stuck with me and started my crazy, obsessive 30+ year journey with food and skewed body image.
So, in order to truly understand why you struggle so much, it's important that you take some time to discover your Food History, which is where your beliefs about food, and even your weight started.
ACTION: With a journal, sit down for 30 minutes and write out all the messages you got about food and your body from a very young age, through where you currently are with food. Include what you saw your parents do or say around food and their weight. Did they diet a lot? Did your mom say she was fat? Or was always trying to lose those last 10-15 pounds? Put it ALL on paper! This is a very eye-opening and cathartic process, so allow yourself the full 30 minutes.
We all have rules around food. Sadly, that's a by-product of Diet Mindset. We hear "experts" sharing their two cents on what is good and bad, or what we should or shouldn't eat based on the current diet trends.
The problem with that is we are all so different as human beings. No one way of eating could ever work for every person. This is where the diet and health industry is extremely flawed.
Look, I've been a vegan/vegetarian most of my life because that is what works for me. It changed my life and helped me heal from many childhood illnesses, but that doesn't mean everyone should eat that way. It also doens't mean that I will be that forever. What I have learned is that I need to be flexible based on what my body needs.
The things we hear about food are detrimental to our physical, mental and emotional health. Food is what we need to survive, and with all the emphasis we put on how to eat, takes away the sheer pleasure of eating. I know that many of us understand on a basic level what foods are nourishing and what foods aren't, yet we are still confused. Your body is actually the one source that will tell all, if you really listen.
ACTION: For the next two days, I want you to notice all the things you say about food to yourself or others. What are your inner thoughts about food when you go to eat it? Do you label foods good or bad? Healthy or unhealthy? How do you feel about what you are eating? Do you feel bad if you eat a donut? Do you berate yourself for going off your diet? Do you tell yourself, "What's the point?" if you mess up?
Take time to write down all these thoughts either in a journal or your phone. After two days, see if you notice any themes. Also take note of how you feel about this process. This will give you great insight in to just how much you think about food and feel bad about choices you make.
My definition of hidden hungers is, all the reasons we eat other than actual physical hunger. I used to eat for all sorts of reasons; loneliness, stress, sadness, fear, discomfort, you name it, I ate for it.
I had a lot of hidden hungers, but mostly it was because I felt alone. I ate to ease my loneliness. Food was safe for me. It was like a friend I could always rely on to be there to comfort me. It never talked back or turned it's back on me, like many humans had in my lifetime.
What I learned through my journey of healing my food issues, was that these hidden hungers, kept me stuck in a vicious cycle with food. I would overeat, and even though I felt good while I was doing it, I ALWAYS regretted it and hated myself after. This resulted in me putting on about 30 pounds of weight that my body didn't need. IT also resulted in my ingesting thousands of calories my body didn't need.
How do I know this? Because once I healed my relationship with food, I went down to my natural weight and have stayed there for over 7 years now.
ACTION: To hone in on your hidden hungers, sit down for 10 minutes, and in a journal write out all the reasons you eat other than physical hunger. Even go as far as writing down all the times you eat throughout the day without being physically hungry. Write how you feel when you are eating, and what you are looking to get from the food. This will give you insight into how often you eat when you do not have physical hunger. \
I go much deeper into this process, and what to do with these Hidden Hungers in my Food Freedom Mastery Program so you can transform them once and for all.
This step directly ties in with Step 1 + 2. Once you understand your food history and all the rules you have create around food, then you can start to look at your deeper beliefs about food, your body and yourself, in general.
Most of what drives overeating, emotional eating and binge eating is a deeper belief that you are broken, or flawed, or not good enough. That is the reason why so many of us self-sabotage. Self-sabotage doesn't just happen, it's the result of a faulty belief system.
One thing I know for sure is that beliefs are just beliefs, they are not truths. Good news here, because that means they can be altered and you can create NEW beliefs, just like you can transform your mindset around dieting.
One thing I know for sure is that beliefs are just beliefs, they are not truths.
ACTION: In order to know what your limiting beliefs are, go back to your food history and your food rules. Look at the themes you noticed. Sit down and write out all the deeper beliefs you can extract from what you see there.
For example, I created food rules, because my deeper belief was that if I was overweight, no one would love me. So, these rules were crafted from a deeper belief about my body image and not feeling good enough. This original belief came from watching my father and brother's fantasize over the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue year after year at a very young age.
I took this information in and made up the faulty belief that if I didn't look like a model I woudln't be loved or get attention. It wasn't anyone's fault, but as a child this is what I took in. So, I went on a mission to have the perfect body which resulted in YEARS of suffering.
This final step in the 5-Step Ditch the Diet Mindset will actually help you create new, more supportive beliefs, which will, in turn, help you reprogram your brain and result in more sustainable, healthier habits.
As I mentioned above, beliefs are NOT truths. You have the power to change them. It will feel hard at first, because to be honest, they have been a source of comfort for years, even though they create suffering.
Most people don't understand how powerful these limiting beliefs are in their present-day lives, and how they are directly linked to why and how we sabotage ourselves, especially with weight loss and food.
ACTION: To complete this 5-step process, take the sheet of paper where you wrote your limiting beliefs. Go down the list and next to each one, I want you to write an upgraded belief that is more realistic and true. Note: this will feel really uncomfortable because you WILL NOT buy into the new belief just yet. All you have to do is make sure it's 50% believable.
Here is an example from my own limiting beliefs:
Take about 20 minutes to go through this process. Once you have all of your upgraded beliefs, write them out on a separate sheet of paper, or put them in the NOTES in your phone and read them daily. Whenever you catch your mind wandering to a judgement about yourself, or self-criticism, identify that belief and redirect it with a more upgraded version in the moment.
Do this over and over and eventually you will create a new brain groove, with a much better belief system intact and you won't even think about dieting ever again!
Following these steps will help you Ditch The Diet Mindset for good. And as I mentioned above, I take a MUCH deeper dive into this content inside my Food Freedom Mastery 12-week Program that is open now for enrollment. If you want to learn more about it, click here.
Let me know how it went for you! Comment below or post in my Private Food Freedom Breakthrough Group (click image below to join)
Much Love, Melissa
The holidays are a time where many of us get caught up in a whirlwind of overwhelm and stress. Our to-do lists double and even triple, with the addition of holiday parties, decorating, shopping and cooking.
It's easy to get sucked into the eye of the storm and not see a way out until January 2nd hits. By this time, it's almost too late and burnout has set in. But this doesn't have to be the case for you this holiday season. You do have a choice.
You CAN thrive through the holiday season in a peaceful and balanced way, so when the New Year comes you feel ready to move forward in an empowered way, instead of feeling like you have to start at square one and fix all the damage you did.
Below are my Top 3 Actions to Help You Avoid Burnout this Holiday Season:
It's no secret that this time of year can be filled with obligations and family traditions that often feel overwhelming. During my annual 7-Day Balanced and Blissed Holiday Challenge, I challenge hundreds of participants with the action of choosing things that feel aligned with them, versus participating out of obligation.
This very action includes being able to say No, which can be hard for a lot of people. In order to not burn yourself out this holiday season and avoid the overwhelm that often comes along with it, I encourage you to choose your experiences and to-do's wisely.
Here's how to do that:
Take out a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. Write the heading, "To-DO" on one side, and the heading "Events" on the other. Write out everything you feel like you have to do under the "To-Do" Heading (ie: getting a tree, baking cookies, decorating, buying gifts for everyone at the office, even long time traditions), and then write out all the events you need to attend including kids (if you have them) plays, holiday parties and bake sales under the "Events" heading.
Once you complete your list, go down each column and circle anything that IS a priority or feels GOOD for you to do. Then go through the list again and X out anything that feels heavy or like an obligation. Note: This process won't be easy, especially if you are a people pleaser or someone who is afraid of being judged for not participating. You will also have to learn to let go a bit and really tune in to the things you WANT to do (see below).
Once you complete the X + O process, go through the circled items, or any items that you are questioning on the list and ask yourself the following questions:
How is this bringing balance to my life?
How is this bringing bliss and joy to my life?
Will this bring balance to my life if I do it, or will I feel resentful?
Is this something I feel obligated to do? If so, can I shift it to feel balanced instead?
If the item feels obligatory, overwhelming etc, cross it off your list and LET GO! You will be OK, I promise. Often we will do things out of obligation or fear of what others will think of us if we don't bake cookies for that bake sale, or show up to that party.
Once you have gone through this process you will feel much clearer. Complete it by writing the remaining items in your calendar. Block out one hour windows of time to complete tasks such as shopping, baking or wrapping gifts. This will help you manage your time better.
This practice will be one of the most powerful actions you take for yourself this holiday season. Life coach and personal growth guru, Tony Robbins says, "If you don't have 10 minutes to give yourself, you don't have a life...." This is so true and one of the main reasons why people feel stressed out and overwhelmed.
By starting your day with what I call the 10+10, you will set yourself up to feel grounded, balanced and connected this holiday season instead of harried, frazzled and buried under your to-do list.
The 10 + 10 consists of 10 minutes of movement and 10 minutes of "me" time first thing in the morning. Of course, both of these activities can be longer, especially if you like to do your workouts in the morning, but start with a minimum of 10 minutes for each.
Most importantly though, is the 10 minutes of "me" time where you either meditate (I love using the Insight Timer App), breathe, read something uplifting excerpts from a book (here is my favorite,) connect to your own heart, journal by dumping whatever is on your mind on the page, or set intentions for the day.
This action is life-changing and will set you up to have a more empowering and connected day so that you don't' feel as overwhelmed by all you have to do.
Also, studies show that people who have consistent morning routines are more successful than people who don't. Instead of hitting the snooze button 3 or 4 times, get up out of bed and give yourself the time you deserve.
Many of us are living in the future or the past. This causes anxiety and overwhelm.
You are ONLY one person, who can only do so much. The more you keep thinking about ALL the things you have to do, versus staying present and doing the next "right" action, the more stressed out you will feel.
Practicing presence is one of the most impactful and balancing things you can do for yourself this holiday season. I know it doesn't come easy for most, myself included, but you can access it with a little bit of awareness and pause.
Every time you catch yourself feeling anxious or overwhelmed, STOP and take a deep breath. Seriously. It's incredible how quickly it works. Know that these feelings come from you not being present. Then take another.
Once you take 2-3 deep breaths, then ask yourself if you are living in the future and worrying, or are you focusing on the task at hand and what's in front of you?
By taking this pause, you will get reconnected to the present moment and then you can make a discerned choice about what needs to be done next.
Again, you are ONLY one person, and can only do so much. DELEGATE if you need to. Ask for help and don't think you need to be Superwoman or Superman.
By following these 3 empowering actions this holiday season, I guarantee you will feel so much more balanced and peaceful by the time the New Year arrives. And if you are concerned about weight gain this holiday season, check out my recent blog about How You Can Avoid Holiday Weight Gain.
The holidays are in full swing. Stores are bustling, parties are happening and people are stressing. It's no surprise that most people will gain anywhere from 5-15 pounds throughout the holiday season.
With the amount of sugary treats, high-calorie foods and a constant flow of libations, it's easy to take in a whole lot of extra calories that your body doesn't really need. Not to mention, the amount of stress we put ourselves under, which also includes lack of sleep and overextending ourselves (aka people pleasing.)
I want you to thrive this holiday season, and not just survive. Most people will do their best to "just get through it" and then deal with the consequences of that in January, which in my opinion, is not an empowering way to start off a brand new year. It feels like a very large mountain to climb....
Here are 5 Tips to support you in having a Thriving holiday season void of weight gain, guilt and regret;
This is usually the first thing to get pushed down to the bottom of our to-do list at this time of year. But, it's more important than ever for you to move your body in some way over the holiday season, for more reasons than avoiding weight gain.
Exercise helps to relieve stress, stabilizes your blood sugar, keeps your metabolism fired up and also supports healthy sleep habits. This is not the time to avoid your body movement, even if it's for only 20 minutes a day, just do something. And preferably something you enjoy!
If you struggle with this commitment, invite others to join you, so it doesn't feel so grueling, and you will have a real reason to show up.
Just because there are tons of treats around all the time, especially some that we only see once a year, doesn't mean you need to stockpile them and overdo it. This doesn't serve you on any level; mentally, emotionally or physically.
Plan to enjoy and truly savor the treats you do love. Take a few bites, really taste them. Put them on a plate, walk away from the table and go sit down to eat. Don't put any negative thoughts toward yourself or the food, because that will only make you want to indulge more, and leave you feeling full of regret.
I love to stick to the 80/20 or 90/10 guideline, of enjoying those sweet treats about 10-20% of the time throughout the season. This way I don't feel deprived or restricted, and I can REALLY enjoy what I am eating without all the thoughts of guilt and regret.
If you keep your attention on what the holidays are really about, which is being with family, connecting and spreading cheer, then food won't be the central focus. It can be easy to get caught up in the holiday craziness, but remember, you DO have a choice about what you put in your mouth and where you put your attention.
Get in the habit of focusing on all the blessings you have right NOW in your life, especially when you start to worry about overeating and feeling out of control around all the treats that are hanging around. The holiday season has much MORE to offer than food....
Overextending yourself during this time of year will deplete you, and create feelings of resentment. Resentful people usually turn to food to help them feel better. Also, if we are burned out and depleted, it's harder to make sound decisions that are in alignment with our healthy lifestyle.
Take a moment and write out all your To Do's, parties and commitments this season. Then go down the list and cross out the ones that feel obligatory or stressful, even certain traditions you think you need to keep out of fear of upsetting others. Last year a client of mine told her kids they weren't going to bake cookies anymore because it was so stressful for her, and she didn't enjoy it anymore. The kids were actually relieved and they created a new tradition of making homemade cards instead.
If you are worrying what others will think of you when you start saying no, or not doing what you always do this time of year, then tell yourself that the decision to take care of, and honor yourself is the best thing you can do for those around you.
Most of human suffering comes from the stories we make up in our heads about things. If you are constantly making up a story that you don't have time, or that you will never be able to eat healthy over the holidays, then those things will be true.
I'm sure you've seen that quote by Henry Ford, "Whether you think you can, or you think you can't, You're Right."
Everytime you find yourself spinning in your head about food, your weight, your to-do list, etc, redirect your thoughts to the present moment and what your VERY NEXT STEP will be. All you can do is put one foot in front of the other. Future thinking will only create feelings of anxiety and overwhelm. Tell that inner voice, NO THANK YOU, and then name one thing you can be grateful for RIGHT NOW and move forward from there.
Implement these Five Tips this holiday season and I guarantee you will not put on weight or feel burned out in the New Year. If you need further support, join me inside my Private Online Food Freedom Group by clicking the graphic below.
The holidays are quickly approaching and it's the time of year where many people tend to overeat, over indulge and feel a bit out of control with food. This often leads to unwanted weight gain in the new year and feelings of frustration and hopelessness.
It's easy to overeat at the holidays because not only is there a lot of high-fat, gooey, sugary foods laying around, but emotions tend to run high at this time of year as well, which leads to eating emotionally. Emotional eating, even eating from a feeling of nostalgia, as most of us do at holiday season, results in the ingestion of hundreds and even thousands of extra calories. The average American will gain anywhere from 5-10 pounds during the holiday season due to the amount of food that is available, partnered with mindless and/or emotional eating.
But don't worry, I am here to share some powerful tips with you to support you in staying in alignment with your health values this season and to treat your body well, so that you can move into the New Year feeling light and balanced. Who wants to start the new year off on another diet or feeling deprived and restricted? I know I don't!
Don't starve yourself the morning of the holiday, or even the days leading up to it anticipating all the goodies you will eat. This will only set you up to have blood sugar crashes and massive cravings.
On the morning of Thanksgiving make some time to move your body not just to burn calories so you can eat more, but to get your blood pumping and to give your body some care and attention. Afterward, eat a hearty, healthy breakfast with a combination of protein, complex carbs and healthy fats.
This will help to set your blood sugar up for stability during the day and there will be less of a chance that you will overeat. Overeating disrupts digestion and prevents proper absorbtion of nutrients. It can also lead to heartburn, indigestion and bloat. Bottom line, it's not comfortable or good for your system.
It's common to start to put rules around what you will and won't eat during this time. Or see the food as good and bad. Or you may even make negotiations or deals with yourself before you get to the Thanksgiving table. The more time and energy you spend thinking about these things, the more you will miss out on the experience of the holiday and enjoying the pleasure of the food.
Come to the holiday with the intention being a normal eater; someone who listens to their hunger and satiety signals, eats what they want, enjoys it and moves on without judgments. By putting rules and attention on how much you will eat, or trying not to think about it will only keep you stuck in the vicious cycle and leave you feeling at odds or deprived. This can lead to overeating and the feeling of white-knuckling through the day.
Put away your phones, computers and anything that will distract you from being present with your loved ones. The holiday is about enjoying time with the people you love the most. Get out a board game, go for a walk or play some cards.
Use this time to really savor each moment with the people you love. Tell stories, laugh, and connect. Pay attention to what you are doing and how you are showing up. Just because there is a lot of food around, doesn't mean you need to eat it. When you stay present and enjoy the experience, there is less of a chance of mindless eating and ingesting way more calories than you need.
As I mentioned in Tip 2, by putting so much focus and attention on the food, we can often set ourselves up to "fail." When you are trying to control your food, or white-knuckle through a holiday, it will set you up to feel like you are going off the rails and feeling deprived.
You are the ONLY one who chooses what to eat and how much. NO one is forcing you to eat seconds, or to have dessert. Make choices that feel aligned for you instead of trying to control it. Eat the things you love. Fill your plate in a way that feels satisfying to you. When you eat, slow down, savor and pay attention (see Tip 5.)
The truth is, our bodies don't actually NEED a lot of food an doften our eyes are bigger than our stomachs, or we don't wnat to miss out, so we overdo it. Just remember, that you do have the choice and you will probably feel a whole lot better if you choose instead of control.
This is something I teach all my premium, one-on-one clients who are emotional eaters, over-eaters and binge eaters. It's a highly effective strategy, because it attunes us to what our body really needs. Practicing the pause means taking the time to slow down and attune to your body before you eat.
Stop, take a deep breath and check in before you move forward. Your body will always tell you what it wants, and it will also tell you whether it's hungry, satisfied or full. Slowing down will help you tune into those sensations even more. It's very common for people to shovel down the food on their plate in 3 minutes flat so they can have more, but this isn't always in service to you or your body.
You can enjoy the foods you like, but there is no need to stuff yourself to the gills with them. Your body will only suffer the consequences from the stress of that. Instead do your best to eat more mindfully. Savor the food, put your fork down between bites and engage in lively conversation with others at the table.
You can always get more, but you might not need to. Slowing down will actually help you understand if your body is full or not. And it usually supports you in eating a whole lot less than you normally would. Savor the experience, don't rush through it.
Most people are not able to know when they hit this point. When you tune into your body's subtle cues (Tip 5), you will be able to tell when you are satisfied. This will prevent you from stuffing yourself like the turkey on your table.
I can usually tell I am getting full when I take my first deep breath while eating. Then I stop, put my fork down and take a break. I give myself a little time before continuing on, so that my food can digest.
Your food expands around 20% after eating, so if you are stuffing yourself to the gills, you will be even more packed 20 minutes later. You can always go back and eat more if you need to, but it's better to stop before you are feeling full. Go for the feeling of satisfaction.
I know this will be hard, but I guarantee you'll feel a whole heck of a lot better!
This tip is hands down my favorite one because it puts us into service before we move into our indulgent day. Spend your Thanksgiving morning helping those in need. This will put life in perspective when you see how many people in your own neighborhood don't have family to spend their holiday with, or don't have food to eat. Being of service is the best way to get your mind off food and engaged in something meaningful.
I love to go to my local Soup Kitchen in town and serve meals to the homeless. There are tons of organizations out there and ways to be of service, so make that a part of your plan right now while you still have some time.
I know that navigating the holiday season can be tricky, but using these tips will support you in sticking to your health goals, as well as being in alignment with what is important to you. Take the focus off food, and put it on those around you or those in need. Your body and your health will thank you!
Have a wonderful holiday!