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Try this Sneaky Thanksgiving Day Eating Trick

By Cassandra Forsythe-Pribanic, PhD, RD

We all know it’s going to happen: Thanksgiving day rolls around and we vow that we’re not going to overeat.

But the second we sit down at the table, we’re overwhelmed with the sights and smells of all the wonderful (and fattening) food around us and end up breaking our vow.

We pile more food than our stomachs can handle on our plates and eat until we feel so full that we hurt from the inside out.

Then, the next day we feel horrible and wished that we had more control.

Well, there is a way you can have power over the indulgences that make you feel more bad than good.

And it’s as simple as this:

Eat your protein foods first.

Yes, that’s right, when you start eating all that food off your plate, make sure you start with the turkey or ham before anything else.

Why? Because protein is one of those nutrients that fills you up faster, and helps your stomach tell your brain that you’ve had enough.

You see, it takes time for your brain to figure out that you put food in your belly. But, protein has the ability to send that message from your stomach to your brain much faster than most other nutrients.

This is the main reason why protein is so satisfying: it prevents overeating because it helps you realize you’re well-fed and not starved.

Also, protein will not drastically increase your blood sugar levels like carbohydrates do (unless that protein is covered in sugary cranberry sauce or a honey-coating).

The problem with instant hyperglycemia (high blood sugar levels) is that it can actually make you feel more hungry, rather than less. You feel shaky and hyperactive and start shoving food in your mouth even faster and faster because you’re basically on a “sugar-high” and your stop-eating mechanisms are inhibited.

Instead, protein keeps your blood sugars within a normal range so you don’t go through the rollercoaster highs and lows that make you feel even less satisfied.

Once you’ve eaten your protein, follow with high fiber vegetables (like green beans and asparagus) that will further add to your satiety.

Then (if you dare, or even have the desire), venture to the higher-carbohydrate starchy foods, but keep your servings to a minimum.

So, this Thanksgiving when you’re faced with more food than you really need, start off with the protein and the vegetables, and your brain won’t let you eat more than you really need (or want).