Not Your Typical Thanksgiving Advice

Posted On Nov 14, 2018 By Tom Holland

A dining room table with traditional Thanksgiving dishes on it.

Thanksgiving is fast approaching which means you will soon be inundated with TV segments and articles giving you the top “tips” and “tricks” on how to eat less on that special occasion, a day when you will be surrounded by family, friends and, yes, food.

Not me.

Let’s do a little simple math: There are 365 days in a year, which translates into 1,095 total meals if you count daily breakfasts, lunches and dinners. If you are someone who consumes five to six smaller meals throughout the day that comes to 1,825 and 2,190 meals respectively.

Many fitness professionals advocate and practice the “80/20” rule when it comes to eating, which means making healthy choices 80% of the time and being less restrictive the remaining 20%.

Back to the simple math for a second: If you are eating 3 meals a day and 1,095 meals a year, 20% would translate into 219 less-than-perfect meals per year; 365 meals if you eat five times a day and 438 for the six-time a day crowd.

Why all the math? To illustrate a very simple point: Out of all the days in the year and all the thousands of meals you will eat, maybe you shouldn’t count calories for this one. In fact, this is probably the one meal that you should sit back and enjoy, without restrictions, guilt-free.

Because if you can’t indulge on Thanksgiving, when the heck can you?

For goodness sake, the holiday is based upon a three-day feast that the Pilgrims had to celebrate their first harvest.

A feast.

Giving thanks for food.

You know when you should focus on eating healthy? August 12th. February 3rd. July 22nd. Dates that have no significance and will make up the 80% of your healthy eating days. Birthdays, weddings, graduation parties - Those are occasions when you can and should enjoy your food without any “tips” or “tricks” to curb your caloric intake.

So enjoy your family, friends and food this Thanksgiving, just like the Pilgrims did back in 1621.

Just try and keep it to a one day-feast instead of three.