Why does every want to be “Healthy” for Thanksgiving?
I keep seeing so many blog entries about “Tips to be Healthy at Thanksgiving,” and I just hate the pressure of this holiday being swept into diet culture. I was actually tasked at my internship to talk about this very subject and I found myself starting to make handouts with the nutrition info for each common food item, listing tips for how to be healthy on that day, and developing healthy recipe swaps for this day to hand out. After I kept researching this topic I starting asking myself “does one day really matter in the grand scheme of things? What should I really be trying educate about for this day?” I started digging and found that Americans, on average, only gain 1 lb by the end of the holiday season, so should we really be worried about this? Yes and no…
The thing about nutrition is that it has to be a lifestyle-as in you should be doing little things every day for your whole life to make it work, not just one day of healthy eating. Gaining 1 lb for 3 months doesn’t really matter, but of you do this the rest of your life (say 40 more years) that’s 40 lbs gained which could increase your risk for other co-morbitites (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, etc…) So being healthy on Thanksgiving kinda matters if you’re trying to practice good habits for your life- habits of not overeating and listening to when your body is full. Habits of not just eating because you’re bored or because the food is there. Habits of trying to fill most of your plate with vegetables. Habits on being active every day. However, you also want to foster a “habit” of having a good relationship with food and not thinking of a day of eating as enemy #1 and suiting up for battle against it. So basically what I’m trying to say is you don’t need to follow a strict set of rules about Thanksgiving day, because health is achieved throughout your life, not just what happens on 1 day.
I do believe that some people like some sort of guidelines for this celebration of food, so here are mine (which are basically the same guidelines I have for every other day of your life). Continue through the slides to read my tips.