How To Eat Like A Pro This Thanksgiving

With the upcoming week of feasting, now is a good time to discuss how to prepare your body for the massive carb loading and binging we are about to endure. “According to the American Council on Exercise, Americans consume more than 3,000 calories during an average Thanksgiving meal” (1). 

The following tips will help you train your stomach on how to properly expand to take in as much food as possible this upcoming holiday.

For this preparation, it is best to look to the pros; professional eaters that is. One of the best in the league is Miki Sudo. She says that to ensure her stomach is ready for the day of competition, she tapers off her eating about two days before and goes on a mostly liquid diet, eats smaller portions and tries to limit/avoid her salt intake (2). 

So take notes: The best way to stuff your face is to come to the table hungry and ready to eat. 

If you really want to bring your A game, try intermittent fasting to prepare your stomach for long periods of limited eating as well as getting used to the stomach stretching on account of each meal. This idea is basically limiting your eating window to a period of 4-8 hours during each day, depending on what you are trying to accomplish.

As for the aftercare, “Sudo recommends that you always stay hydrated after a big meal, especially if you’ve eaten something super salty. She also recommends that if your menu has a lot of fried food this year, make sure to eat a couple of slices of bread to soak up all the oil” (2). 

The second tip is that if you are going to eat before the main feast, try to stick to protein that way you feel satiated faster and do not have to eat as many carbs later (3). Plus, carbs tend to expand in your stomach and make you feel fuller faster- so don’t take up that precious stomach space with stuffing or potatoes! 

The third tip is to have a plan of attack. “If you want to exclusively eat the meal and intend to abstain from alcohol and sugary desserts, eat protein first, then fat (which will help suppress your appetite), and eat tons of veggies (veggies are, of course, low-calorie foods that will fill you up)” (3). This will allow you to consume more volume/quantity of food because these items take up the least amount of space in your stomach. 

If you feel a lull in your intake capabilities, take a break and go for a walk. The low impact exercise will help aid digestion and make room for more delicious goodness. “While your body is focused on breaking down that massive feast, it sends more blood to the digestive tract. Your brain and the rest of your body are getting less blood than they’re used to, so you start feeling that familiar post-binge sleepiness. To combat it, resist the urge to nap and go for a walk. You’ll use some of that food you ate instead of storing it…It’s helping the blood flow go through the rest of the body” (4). 

Lastly, and maybe most importantly, enjoy yourself and wear an elastic waistband/ clothes that are not constricting. Everyone hates that uncomfortable feeling of your pants button about to burst so avoid it altogether by wearing sweatpants or leggings. This also comes in handy for when you nap (no uncomfortable clothing). 

So to recap, 

  • Prepare your stomach ahead of time
  • Pace yourself and have a plan of attack
  • Wear comfy clothes to enhance the dining experience (and to be prepared for the walk/nap later in the evening). 
  • Have a great holiday!


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About Alecya Krivolenkov 21 Articles
Alecya is an Oregon native and Portland State alumni. She is a cannabis, food, and sex education enthusiast. If she’s not in the kitchen whipping up a new recipe, you can find her in the garden trying to grow something for next harvest or in front of the TV binging the latest and greatest. She aspires to write her own cookbook as well as open a multi-facility clinic for sexual trauma survivors. You can follow her cooking on instagram: @kushaipdx