What does Thanksgiving mean to you? For most people the meaning of Thanksgiving is feasting! The real meaning is to gather in unity and express gratitude — to give thanks with the abundance of our hearts, it’s time of healing and of sharing our strength and happiness. Yes, of course we need to eat to replenish and nourish our body. And we want to enjoy it too! But do we sometimes forget to eat consciously and joyfully?

Thanksgiving Day has been an annual holiday in the US since 1863. There are claims that it dates back to 1598 is El Paso, Texas. Many people trace it’s origins to the harvest celebration in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621 or 1623 — giving thanks for rain that ended a drought. These early thanksgivings took the form of a special church service, rather than a feast. Over time, thanksgivings after the harvest became more common and started to become annual events. George Washington, the first president of the US, proclaimed the first national Thanksgiving Day in 1789.

Nowadays, Thanksgiving has transformed into a feast, and we are thinking how to minimize weight gain and back to a normal eating pattern as quickly as possible! Here are 5 tips that may help:

1 — Eat sitting up straight, and not standing up. This will help you to increase awareness, and a good posture will help you to naturally breathe properly and it will support your digestion. And most importantly, you will eat more consciously.

2 — At least one third of your plate should consist of vegetables and fruits, which have a higher water content. This will help you to control your hunger, while getting adequate nutrients.

3 — Use a small plate! Cornell University researchers collected 56 research studies examining the effect of smaller plates on consumption. Combining all the studies, they concluded that a 30% reduction in plate size lead to an average 30% reduction in food consumption.

4 — Save your calories for your main Thanksgiving meal. Reduce complex carbohydrate intake, eat moderate fat, and focus on lean protein sources. If you are doing exercise then try not to skip, but also don’t increase the time you spend working out — this will increase your hunger more!

5 — Don’t punish yourself, this will actually give you more stress. The joy of eating with your family and friends will be so much more if you are conscious that the food you are eating is becoming a part of you.

Happy, healthy Thanksgiving!