Every year I go to Amish Country in Lancaster, PA. While I partake in other activities, the simple reason we go is to eat. Amish buffets are amazing. Filled with all kinds of dishes roasted, baked and cooked with full fat. When I go to Amish country I do not stick to any of my normal rules. I don't have diet rules anymore but I try to eat foods my body can handle. I see no reason that three days out of the year I can have my buttered noodles.
Thanksgiving and other holidays are similar to Lancaster. There is a lot of food around and the diet centers are empty, waiting for the January rush. But if you are a former dieter like me, it's hard to figure out exactly how to eat. You don't want eat more than your body can handle but you don't want to follow diet rules so serving sizes, calories, or overexercising to the point of exhaustion.
I am giving you a few tips for survival. If you find you need more, my friend Golda is doing a HAES for the Holidays teleclass for $49 to help you get through the holidays without going insane (at least from food decisions).
1. Enjoy your food and listen to your hunger cues. If your body says you've had enough, that's it. If it says it really wants a slice of homemade pumpkin pie, have a slice. Mostly enjoy your food. Enjoy the taste, the colors, the texture. Savor it.
2. Do not beat yourself up if you "overeat". Most of the time I eat normally, but I sometimes overeat, and about 5 days a year I gorge myself silly. Don't focus on the food. Don't worry if the portion is too much or how much fat and calories are in it.
3. Don't you allow family members to harass you about your eating. Tell them it is unacceptable. If you have to leave, do it.
4. The holidays are about more than food. They are supposed to be a time to appreciate family and friends, go to fun parties, and give and get presents. Remember that focusing on food takes away from your enjoyment.
5. It's okay to eat your veggies and to exercise. As a former-dieter, one of my biggest issues doing exercise and eating my vegetables for health not weight loss. Vvegetables give you a good amount of fiber and vitamins. Exercise releases endorphins to help with that after eating lull.
Above all, have a wonderful holiday.