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I Already Ate My Thanksgiving Dinner—This Is Why

On Sunday, I spent part of the day making pumpkin pie bars and roasting a turkey. The stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy were all pre-made courtesy of Whole Foods. I steamed up a bag of green beans for the final piece of the meal.

So why the heck did I eat Thanksgiving dinner days before the actual holiday? My nutritionist is why.

We’ve been working together since July and I have learned so much, not only about the way I view food, but the way our culture views food. The big takeaway for the holidays? We overeat because we have made turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and all of the trimmings into this scarce dish that we only eat once or twice a year. Because of that, we overeat, believing it is okay because this is the only day of the year that we will get to have ‘insert dish here.’

The same goes for Christmas cookies. And Starbucks holiday drinks. And pumpkin pie. And the list goes on and on.

One of the strategies the team at Nutritional Wisdom shared with me is allowing myself to have some of those ‘special’ foods before the ‘big day.’ By spacing it out and having a little bit at a time, it reduces the chance that I will overeat and spend the entire afternoon on the couch in a food coma.

Those Pumpkin Pie Bars I made? They are sweetened with honey and almond butter. And now that I have gotten a little taste each day, I don’t see myself cutting the extra large piece of pie I have done on Thanksgiving’s past (and let’s be real, that piece of pie always had an even bigger scoop of Cool Whip).

So try it out for yourself. Those Christmas cookies you return to over and over again at the dessert table? Make them, save a few at home and take the rest to work or gift them to a friend. Savor them a few times before the holiday and watch as you are in total control around the platter once dessert hits. That time you don’t spend in food coma you can spend catching up with family.

Ashley Lauretta

Ashley Lauretta

Ashley Lauretta is the freelance web editor for Women's Running. A freelance journalist, she is the assistant editor at LAVA Magazine and has written for espnW, ELLE, Men's Journal, VICE Sports, Health and more. Find her online at ashleylauretta.com and on Twitter at @ashley_lauretta.