Saturday, November 17, 2012

How Do Dodge Those Family "Health Sabotagers" This Holiday Season

Next Thursday is the big day. It's the day Americans everywhere will gather around a large table, with family and friends, to feast on traditional Thankgiving foods.  It's the day some people dread, because perhaps they are getting so close to meeting their weight loss goals and they are afraid that the mass amounts of food will sabotage their efforts.  But let's be honest, we all have control over what and how much we eat, right?  So we have nothing to worry about. Whether we are trying to lose or maintain a healthy weight, or we're simply working on establishing better eating habits, we harvest that control and we control the choice as to whether or not we eat something. we??

Last year's Thanksgiving table at the Casagrande household

This is me last year, with my mom, dad, brother, and their dog Scarlet.  This is post Thanksgiving feast. Not the best photo (everyone looks like they are in a food coma accept for me!  Probably because I new I would be putting this on my blog, muahaha).

This is my plate of food.  I've got some vegetables, grains, and of course protein (and gravy of course).

Decent, right?  I mean, it's plenty of food, and you better believe this was preceded by plenty of pre-meal munching and was followed by plenty of dessert eating.  I was comfortably full and satisfied by late afternoon (ok, maybe comfortable isn't the best way to describe it, but no food comas for me!)

Anyway, at this point in my life I feel pretty great about my body and my nutrition philosophy.  There was a time in my life when certain members of my family would comment on the "unfilled space" on my plate..... "Gina, what the heck?!  It's Thanksgiving, it's time to FEAST!".  Little did they know (or care) that my plate of food was certainly a feast in my eyes.  I mean, I don't normally eat that much food in one sitting (especially not for lunch, and especially not when I know it will be followed by a decadent dessert!).

So what do you do when your fmaily and/or friends try to make you feel this small and comment on the lack of food that you're eating at a specific holiday gathering? Or when they comment on the excess of fruits and/or veggies on your plate?  In other words, what do you do when your family and friends are impressed with your ability to obstain from gorging yourself over the holidays, simply becuase it's a holiday?  Here is what I do:

1)  Laugh it off. Rather than going into some whole long explanation about how I feel so much better when I try to eat healthy and I don't eat GIANT portions, I just smile and nod (or....laugh...whatever).

2)  Lie and tell them it's only my first plate.  Usually by the time I'm finished with my first plate, whoever made the comment has forgotten about me anyway.  A little white lie never heard anybody ;)  Of course, sometimes I do get seconds, but I try to get more veggies.

3)  Just be honest.  I've had times when relatives are relentless and they just don't give up, "Man Gina, you need to eat more than that, come on!! Or at least have a glass of wine or something, GEEEZ!!".  This is when I say "Sorry, I'm much more content eating a smaller meal now, and I'm sure I'll have more room in my stomach later for whatever I missed this time around".  Sometimes honesty really does get people to, well...shut up!

4)  Pile your plate up and give some food to the dog.  haha. Jk.

Would you like more tips?  Check out this article from Fitness Magazine.  And don't forget it's ok to be an individual and have your own goals, despite what people may say and how people may react to the "new you" and your "new food philosophy". Just stay strong, and maybe one day you can get your biggest sabotager on board with you!

Thanks for reading!

The Candid Rd
NOTE: I love comments!  But, be sure to come back to read any replies to questions or comments, as they do not go directly to your e-mail.


  1. Hahaha.. I love the idea of giving extra food to the dog- I feel like normally this is done by kids who don't want to eat their veggies haha.

    I don't know if you feel like this has happened to you at all but I feel like most of my family has just gotten used to me. I used to get a lot of comments and I would say, yea my stomach just hates me when I eat too much/the wrong thing and everyone said, oh I would just eat it anyway and I'm like yeah I've played that game but I don't like feeling like crap, sorry :) I find people are pretty used to me now haha. But when I do get the occasional comment, I go the laugh it off route.. I should try the first plate thing but something tells me people would remember haha.

    1. Absolutely they have gotten used it. it. It took some time, but finally I don't have to explain myself. Actually, the easiest thing for me to say is, "I'm a dietitian, I have to practice what I preach!". That's so easy :)

  2. Love this post! Is sooooo funny because I go through the same thing with my family not only during thanksgiving but pretty much at every holiday or family gathering!!! They constantly want me to overeat AND overdrink. There is never a dull moment! I am usually the only one who sticks to moderate and healthy portions and over the years I have learned to just laugh off the comments and go on about my way. After all, is my body and my choices and my peace of mind. Hence, if eating in moderation makes me feel amazing about myself who cares about what anyones opinions are?! :)

  3. Maybe my family is different, but this has never been an issue for me or anyone else at family holiday dinners. We really could care less what everyone chooses to put on their plate - we all have our likes and dislikes, and our own hunger levels, and we just enjoy the holiday. We don't even bother putting out appies/snacks before hand now, so it's really just dinner & dessert - less food comas!

  4. this is a great post gina! so often i deal with comments and weird looks because most times i obstain from meat etc. you just have to do what makes you happy! i wish i could subscribe to you blog via my are in my reader but i like to get blogs in my inbox too-any way you can add that feature?

    1. Do you see the option below for "subscribe by e-mail"? Can you try that and see if it works. I've been blogging for so long yet I'm still a novice!
      Also, look on my right side of the blog and see "subscribe to posts". Try that one too :)

  5. Great tips and happy to say my family has always been pretty good about not commenting about what's on my plate {although you can be sure that there will be second helpings of gluten-free stuffing!} I always feel "comfortably full" after Thanksgiving dinner as well. I definitely enjoy my favorites, but know there will be "more food tomorrow" so no need to stuff myself silly. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

  6. some fantastic tips in here - thanks for sharing. i'm not the most disciplined person!

  7. omgggg i totally despise food pushers - i think the best way to ward them off is to tell them to 'eff off' hahahah KIDDING but they totally wouldn't see that coming!