Something I want you to know on this holiday:
Thanksgiving represents one day out of the year. The stakes are very low in terms of how today will impact your progress with food and body.
That being said, you can choose to enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday and make clear decisions with food that are in your control.
In this episode, I’m sharing perspective on how you can most enjoy this holiday — regardless of what your eating decisions end up being.
I’m sharing things to keep in mind during Thanksgiving, what to avoid, and practical tips to show up to your Thanksgiving dinner in a way you feel satisfied with.
Happy Thanksgiving, friends. I’m eternally grateful for you!
Hello my friends. Welcome back to the podcast this week, and for those of you who celebrate today, happy Thanksgiving. I am so excited to be in your ear this morning because what I want to talk about today is the holiday of Thanksgiving. And for those of you who are not in the us, I encourage you to still listen to this episode because really I’m going to offer some perspective on how to treat your eating habits and treat yourself when it comes to food centered holidays.
And for anyone who knows anything about Thanksgiving, it is the ultimate food centered holiday. And what we want is for you to be able to enjoy this holiday, enjoy this time at the fullest without feeling like you are leaving your goals on the table or without feeling like you’re backtracking in your progress. So that is what I’m going to talk about today.
I also want to briefly mention that any holidays that are centered around family like Thanksgiving aren’t always the easiest for everyone. And so if you are someone who is spending this Thanksgiving holiday in more difficult circumstances, my heart goes out to you and I want to offer that I’m thinking of you today. All right, so a couple of things to keep in mind here as we talk about Thanksgiving. These are just things I want you to keep in mind today as you enjoy this holiday.
The first most important thing, my friends, is that today represents one day of the year. Truly, this may seem obvious, but I really want this to sink in today. Today represents one day of the year. So how you eat today, the stakes are very low here. One day of the year cannot sabotage your progress for the rest of the year.
So sometimes when we go into the holidays, we really set the stakes so, so high in our mind and we create this buildup. And I don’t want you to do that here. I’m going to support you in today’s episode, but also keep this high level perspective that this is just one day, just so you don’t build it up in your mind as more than what it is. The second thing I want to offer you is that you have nothing to prove today when it comes to your eating habits.
And sometimes we forget as high achieving perfectionistic women that we’re not being graded, my friends, there’s no one who’s going to give you a grade based on how you eat today. You get to decide the decisions you make with food today. Now, what may happen is that you may feel an urge to judge yourself or grade yourself after today is done based on how you eat.
But that is a decision you can make. You can decide what you make it all mean. Nobody else outside of you is grading your progress and you have nothing to prove today. The third thing is that no matter how you decide to eat today, similar to what I said before, it cannot derail your progress for the rest of the year. I promise you it is just not possible. And we’re gonna talk more about this as this episode goes on, but it’s truly important to remember that today is one day.
All right? And then the fourth thing is that you can enjoy today, you can enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday and feel like you have full permission to enjoy the foods and you can make clear decisions with food that you feel good about. All right? So this isn’t one or the other You can fully enjoy today, fully enjoy thanksgiving, and you can set the stability with your food decisions that you can make clear decisions that you feel good about.
And I wanna talk about the only way you can actually sabotage yourself today, right? Because this is just one day and the stakes are very low, but there actually is one way today that you can sabotage yourself. Are you ready? This is the only way. It’s if you take how you ate on Thanksgiving and you use it against yourself after today. All right? So how you can sabotage yourself is what you make it mean.
If you overeat today or if you don’t honor your food decisions today, you can only sabotage your Thanksgiving food choices when you use those food choices against yourself in the future. So I want you to decide now, you may be listening to this this morning, some of you may be listening to this the day after Thanksgiving, but it still applies how you decide to eat on Thanksgiving Day. What will you make it mean about yourself and the progress you want to make after Thanksgiving?
So I want to talk about two scenarios with two different people, but they have the same circumstance, which is that they overate on Thanksgiving, right? So they ate past fullness. In one scenario, that person’s going to make it mean that they’re not capable of eating healthy, that they don’t have control with food, that they can’t possibly enjoy foods because they will lose control with the foods, all of the things that debilitate them, right? They will take them overeating on thanksgiving and make it mean all of these really negative and terrible things about themselves as an eater and about their abilities to lose the weight and create the results they want.
Now, another scenario, a different person who notices that they overate on Thanksgiving, they get to make it mean something totally different. So maybe they make it mean this is just one day, or they make it mean I understand why I overate and now I can use that information to do better.
Or maybe they make it mean that they intentionally decided to not prioritize honoring their fullness because pleasure was the priority, right? But it just takes them into full responsibility for how they show up. And here’s the difference between these two people. One person is having a perspective of how they showed up to Thanksgiving from a non-useful debilitating lens. And the other one is having thoughts about Thanksgiving that are empowering and take them into responsibility. Both of these people overate on Thanksgiving, but what the former person is going to do is to take their overeating on Thanksgiving and have it debilitate them for the rest of the year.
The other person is going to use it either as a lesson or as an empowered decision that they made that day to prioritize pleasure over honoring their fullness. So notice how the difference between these two people is one isn’t acknowledging their control and one is.
And so know that one day Thanksgiving cannot sabotage your progress. It’s only what you make this day mean that goes with you into your future. And what you make it mean does have the power to affect your future eating habits and your future results. So I want you to set an intention now ahead of time that you get to decide how you’ll treat yourself after you eat on Thanksgiving Day. If you beat yourself up, you are going to set yourself up for making more food decisions in the future that you don’t agree with.
If you validate yourself and support yourself, no matter what your decision ends up being, you set the stage for this day to just be one day in terms of your eating habits. Make sense? All right. So what I also want to do is to share some practical tips cuz that’s what y’all love. ,.
Just some very practical tips I can give you for today that will allow you to not only get the most from today and enjoy yourself on Thanksgiving, but also ground you in control and responsibility with food. And the first tip I’m going to offer you may surprise some of you, not all of you if you’ve been with me for a while, but the first tip is to give yourself full permission to make any eating decisions you want today.
And I’m talking about full permission, right? So you’re not having any shoulds, you’re not having any have tos, you are not having any thoughts that imply you have obligations with food today. Now here’s why I’m offering this. It’s more about the thoughts and the intentions behind it rather than the actions. Because I want you to think about the emotional energy you have if you go into Thanksgiving thinking I have to, I should, or I’m supposed to eat this way, your energy is going to feel restricted, pressured, confined.
But do this for yourself. Notice how you go into Thanksgiving and what energy is created when you have those thoughts that you are a human that doesn’t have full permission to make any eating decisions you want. You’re going to have stronger urges to eat those foods, right? It’s like when I tell you, don’t think about a pink elephant, don’t you dare. You’re not supposed to do that. What are you going to do? You’re going to think about a pink elephant. Of course. This is what our brain does.
If we tell our brain it’s not supposed to do something or it cannot do something or it shouldn’t do something, it loves to be rebellious and increase those urges to do that thing. So what we want to do is lower the urges in your rebellious brain and we want to remind it in your thoughts that it has full permission, that you have full permission to make eating decisions that you want to make today.
And you just get to decide picture what happens when you give yourself full permission and you have the energy where you feel calm, you feel free, you feel open. This is a much more clear place to make eating decisions from. And this is going to lower your urges for all of the foods. And what will happen is rather than making eating decisions from I should, you’re going to realize you’ll make eating decisions from I want.
And it’s so much more empowering to make eating decisions from I want energy than I should energy. You’re going to enjoy the food more. You’ll likely have less urges to overeat the food and you’re going to leave this meal or any meal feeling so much more confident and empowered in your eating decisions. So give yourself full permission with food from your thoughts and your mindset and go into the meal with this energy.
This is an energetic exercise. All right? So try this on. This will be new for a lot of you. The next tip I have for you today is to prioritize the pleasure with the food today. Again, if you’re new to me, this will be surprising to you. For some of you it won’t be. But here’s why. Pleasure is actually a meter to be filled with food. It is really important to your body that it has pleasure with the eating decisions that you make. If you do not prioritize pleasure with food, you will experience increased cravings for pleasurable food.
So we want to honor that need that your body is having. Prioritize the pleasure with the food today. And what you can picture is prioritizing pleasure doesn’t mean you eat more of the foods. It actually means you enjoy foods more with less. It means you go deeper with each bite of food in terms of the pleasure.
So you go deeper with each bite of food during the meal rather than wider with consuming more of the food. Pleasure is about enjoying every bite of the eating experience. You eat slowly, you observe the textures, you observe the taste, you be present with the meal, and you enjoy the eating experience at the highest capacity. Pleasure with food is not about having more of the food, my friends, if you are filling up with the pleasure quickly, you are not actually experiencing pleasure with the food you are experiencing emotional comfort, which is okay, but you want to know why you are eating the way you’re eating.
If you want to fully enjoy your Thanksgiving meal, prioritize that pleasure and go deeper with each bite of food. And this will allow you to feel more satisfied with less food naturally where you’re still feeling fulfilled from that meal and you still enjoy it.
A really practical tip I can also give you, and this is more in the action line of things, but you can start smaller with your servings. All right? So I always offer, you can go back four seconds if you really want, but why not give yourself the chance for less to feel like enough here? And this can be a really great way to start prioritizing pleasure with food rather than more of it. Start smaller with the servings, but then commit to enjoying every bite of food you have on that plate.
If you do that, go back for more if you really want. But give yourself a chance to see if that’s something you even want to do after you have fully savored and enjoyed what is already on your plate. Just a little action tip I can give you there. The next tip I have is to check in with your body throughout the eating experience.
So this is highly related to increasing the pleasure in the eating experience. It allows you to be very present with your meal and to intentionally enjoy it. A big practice to enjoying your food more is to actually have a relationship to your body throughout the eating experience. So check in with your fullness levels every now and then throughout the meal. See how your body is feeling. This does not mean you need to be hyper aware of it at all times so you don’t enjoy your time with your family or whoever you’re spending thanksgiving with.
It just means just as much as you talk to everyone else at the table, you also check in with the opinions your body is having. Just think of it like another member at that table. Cause it wants to communicate with you, it wants to tell you how it’s feeling.
And I also want to mention if you are noticing your fullness throughout the meal, this doesn’t mean you need to demonize your fullness if you notice yourself feeling more full. So don’t have expectations here where you’re micromanaging your fullness levels, but just check in, let your body know you are listening to it. Don’t bulldoze past these fullness cues that your body is trying to give you with your eating. Doing this practice where you intentionally observe your fullness is a game changer.
My clients are always very surprised how just having the intention of checking in with fullness actually allows them to feel full much quicker because now they get to just have access to those cues and see what’s there. So do not underestimate the practice of just seeing what your fullness is telling you and how this can change your eating habits completely. Here. The next tip I have is similar to what I mentioned before, but I’m going to say it again.
Commit to not judging yourself for your eating after today Thanksgiving. I’ll say it over and over again. It is one day out of the year, my friends. It does not matter how you eat on Thanksgiving day. You cannot derail your progress. You cannot keep yourself stuck and you cannot sabotage yourself. You only sabotage yourself if you use the way you ate as a reason to stop believing in your ability to create the results you want.
Because here’s something I feel very strongly about. I think it is very common for health resources to try and convince you that today really does matter in terms of your results and how you show up to your Thanksgiving meal will determine the eater that you are gonna be in the future. So you should show up as the eater you wanna be. Sounds like really good advice, doesn’t it?
I personally don’t agree with this. I think there can be some truth to that. But the reality is this is one day out of the year, right? And we need you to understand that because these are how your eating habits will look for the rest of your life. You’re going to have celebrations, holidays, weddings, anniversaries. You’re going to have days where eating as your highest self isn’t the most important thing that day. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have the weight you want and the results you want.
I think a lot of this advice that tells you you have to show up as your best self and the healthiest eater you wanna be on Thanksgiving. Don’t believe in your ability to commit the rest of the year to your goals or to create the results you want. And that’s not how I feel about you.
I believe in your ability to let yourself enjoy food fully on Thanksgiving Day in a way that also still feels in your control. And then to continue with the progress you wanna make the rest of the year. But you are doing this from full permission and agency where you’re knowing that you just get to eat however you want to eat at all times. There are no rules. And what a naturally healthy eater does is they engage with holidays like Thanksgiving and they don’t set the stakes really high.
They get to just enjoy the meal and enjoy the food in whichever way they want to that day, knowing that they know how to create the results they want with their body the rest of the year. I do not want you to treat a Thanksgiving holiday like something you have to walk on eggshells with because you are someone that is not completely in control with food the rest of the year.
No, you are someone who always has control with food. You can create the results you want and that is in your power. So if that is true, of course we’re not seeing Thanksgiving Day as something that you have to tiptoe around. You are safe to enjoy this holiday with food. If you are seeing yourself as someone who is not in control with food, you’re going to be tempted to see yourself as having to be controlled on days like today. If you just were always in control no matter what, then what would you decide?
What would you want to do? Maybe you would want to prioritize nutritionally valuable foods and your goals on Thanksgiving day. I have moments like that where even on holidays, my goals are the most important thing to me in that moment. But sometimes the pleasure is the most important thing to me in that moment.
And that’s okay too. It doesn’t have to be one or the other. So I hope it makes sense what I’m really saying here. You can be a human on thanksgiving with food and still have the results you want. The stakes are not that high. And with that, here are some intentions I can offer you for you to make today. So the first thing is that if there were no rules, no shoulds, no have tos with how you eat today, no right or wrong way to spend Thanksgiving, you had full permission.
Nothing could go wrong. How would you choose to show up on Thanksgiving? How would you decide to enjoy the holiday? What would you want out of the holiday? And just let yourself answer this question. And for those of you who don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, do this with any holiday that you may have. How would you choose to celebrate and enjoy the holiday?
What is your goal out of the day? What do you want with it? Let yourself answer this question. The purpose of this question is not for you to indulge That part of you that may want to throw all intentions out the window and just use this as an excuse to overeat and binge eat and throw away what you really want. Cause that’s not what you want. You don’t want to throw your goals away. That’s not the purpose of this podcast.
I want you to set intentions for how you will decide to show up on Thanksgiving. So how will you decide to show up with food as someone who is in full control? Will you decide to prioritize pleasure and enjoyment of the food today and to use this as an opportunity to do that? Or will you prioritize nutrition and your goals and moving forward in that regard?
All knowing that this is just one day and you just get to decide because here’s a really big secret to eating healthy and losing weight long term. Just become someone who makes clear decisions with food regardless of what they are. Own every eating decision you make no matter what it is. My program y’all is literally called Own your eating habits. Do this and it will ground you in full responsibility when you ground yourself in full responsibility with food, it creates a concept of yourself that you are someone who is in control with food.
So just firmly decide from a place of so much love and intention, who do you want to show up as to Thanksgiving? And how would the version of you who eats naturally healthy and keeps the weight off with ease show up today? Do you think they would obsess over eating the right way, restrict foods they love or beat themselves up afterwards?
Probably not, right? So define for yourself how the highest version of you shows up today. Not from perfection, but from the version of you who eats naturally healthy in the future and knows they have full control with food. And for those of you, if it’s hard to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday today for any reason because the circumstances are different, just know it’s okay to feel exactly how you’re feeling and you have full permission to give yourself what you need today.
I’m here for all of you no matter what. I love you all my friends. I am relentlessly thankful for all of you who listen to this podcast. Happy Thanksgiving and I will talk to you next week.
Hey there! I'm Kat Rentas. I’m a certified life and health coach for women who believes that eating healthy should feel simple and sustainable. I teach hundreds of high-performing women to change their eating habits without the overwhelm. Want to change your eating habits in a way that is aligned with your needs, preferences, and goals? You’re in the right place. You can read my full story here.