Weighing in on the Problems with Stuffing


Temptation is a trough of stuffing and a boat of thick gravy.

At least, it is during this time of year. According to Web MD, not all of us pack on an extra five to six pounds during the merry season, but those who do, struggle to shed that weight the rest of the year.

“Those small weight gains add up over the years, causing major medical problems,” the article warns.

We all know the best course at Thanksgiving is to savor the holiday meal but push away our plates once we no longer feel hunger. But that’s easier said than done. (I’ve never learned to just stuff the turkey.) Many of us need to focus on mind over matter, the matter being the second helpings and dessert gobbled up faster than funds fattening the fat cats.


A great guide is The Appetite Awareness Workbook: How to Listen to Your Body and Overcome Binging, Overeating, and Obession with Food by Linda Craighead. She tells us that the “normalized overeating path” is when you continue to eat past your moderate signal. You’ll knaw on that turkey wing even if you’ve already popped your skinny jeans’ zipper.

“For example, you are full from a substantial dinner and your favorite dessert is served,” she explains.  “Emotional cues can be quite strong. When you are feeling lonely, bored, and depressed you treat yourself to a sundae. The goal of AAT is to stop at moderate fullness no matter why you start eating. When you can maintain this boundary on amount, you will stay on the normal eating path instead of ending up overeating or perhaps triggering a binge.”


AAT agrees the common thinking about starting your diet anew – getting back on track tomorrow or Monday – is stinking thinking. The calories count while you are indulging so it’s better to listen to your gut, literally.

Now, if her tips fail you, Web MD has compiled these tips to avoid overindulging:

1. Never Arrive Hungry

2. Divert Your Attention (focus on something other than food)

3. Pace Yourself

4. Count your canapes (set a limit and stick to it)

5. Outsmart the buffet (limit your helpings to a single story and go for the simplest foods, fresh fruits and veggies)

6. Limit Alcohol

7. Be Choosey About Sweets

8. Bring Your Own Treats (a low-calorie something you know you will enjoy)

9. Limit tastes while cooking

10. Walk it off (make a new holiday tradition: the family walk).

I’m going to employ these tips this year, diverting my attention away from the pie and to the amazing jeans in my closet that I might be able to squeeze into if I can avoid my usual habit of using yummy food to fill my own cavity.

Image: pixelrandy

Luanne Bradley

Luanne Sanders Bradley is the West coast Editor at EcoSalon and currently resides in San Francisco, California.