November 23rd, 2016 | Diet & Health

5 Psych Tips to Avoid Thanksgiving Food Coma

Feast in moderation. It may seem like a impossibility, but we've got some mind tricks up our sleeve to avoid the turkey daze on Turkey Day. Here's how you can enjoy your meal to the fullest, without stuffing yourself to the brim.

5. Quality over Quantity.

Keep diminishing returns in mind. Visualize the line graph that peaks, then drops as you overeat. That line symbolizes how much pleasure you get from your food. The first slice of pumpkin pie, the peak, is delicious. The second? Not so much, the line’s already gone down. The more pie you eat, the less enjoyable it becomes. You deserve the only best, just say no. Savor the peak, then dip out.

4. Don’t skip meals.

In preparation for the feast, eat a nutritious breakfast backed with protein and fiber. If you’re starving, you’re more likely to overeat. Your body sends signals to your brain when you’re full, but you’ll be less likely to recognize them when you’ve been depriving yourself all day.

3. Be mindful of portion control.

Moderation is key. Remember you can always go back for seconds. Serve yourself less than what you're eyeing to avoid the guilt of not finishing what's on your plate. Another tip is to document your food by snapping a quick pic before diving in, so you stay mindful of how much you’re eating.

2. Focus on one task at a time.

It’s easy to lose track of how much you’re eating when you’re preoccupied. If you’re conversing with friends, avoid talking and eating at the same time. It keeps them from seeing the inside of your mouth as you chew, and allows you to be more conscious of your food. Watching TV with a bag of chips in your lap isn’t a good idea for the same reason. Do one thing and do it well by giving it your full undivided attention.

1. Don’t fall for "All or Nothing" thinking.

Don’t beat yourself up if your will weakens and you dip into the cheesecake platter. Diets often fail because of the reasoning “I already messed up, might as well give up today and start fresh tomorrow.” But trust us, the future you tomorrow will be better off without the guilt and sugar coma. Live in the now, not in anticipation and reliance on your willpower to come.

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Linda Cheng, Social Media and Content Manager

Linda graduated from the University of California, Irvine with three majors in Psychology, Urban Studies, and Social Ecology, as well as a minor in Global Sustainability. Her goal is to promote sustainable healthy living by providing the resources needed for success. Using smart data services and motivational psychology, she aims to move users towards long-term lifestyle changes for better health and fitness.

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