Leftovers are motivator for Thanksgiving moderation

Cathleen Kronemer, NSCA-CPT, Certified Health Coach, is a longtime fitness instructor at the Jewish Community Center. 

By Cathleen Kronemer

 “One Day Only Sale!”

“Hurry, Space Is Limited ~ Sign Up Today!”

“Offer Expires At Midnight Tonight!”

Regardless of how hard we try to fight it, you have to admit that at this time of year, the advertising industry seems to have a strong hold over our emotions.  None of us relishes the idea of being left out of a great bargain, or sitting idly by as the deal-of-the-century gets away. 

While the industry would have us believe otherwise, the truth of the matter is that no sooner has the pang of regret finally eased out of our subconscious for having missed a sale that another not-to-be-missed extravaganza is popping up at a mall near you. The take-home message?  If you choose to pass on today’s sale, rest assured that great price will be available again in the very near future.

The same reasoning can be applied to holiday food gatherings. Thanksgiving is here, and with it come the traditional calorie-laden treats of which we dream all year long. Families and friends celebrate together, sharing their favorite recipes that have been enjoyed by all throughout the ages.  Since this is a once-a-year festivity, many of us give ourselves permission to overindulge, even to the point of taking second and third helpings when our tummies are clearly full, simply because we don’t get these delicacies at any other time (interpreted by some as: “One Day Only Sale!”).

The truth is, if Thanksgiving is represented by any one thing besides turkey, it is LEFTOVERS. The scene is played out in almost every kitchen in the country where such a feast has just taken place: I call it the “ceremonial bringing out of the aluminum foil and Tupperware containers,” and the parceling out of leftover goodies.

Most hosts and hostesses delight in preparing extra amounts of food, because Thanksgiving leftovers are just that good. With this knowledge in mind, we might choose to exercise some restraint at the buffet table, secure in the knowledge that these same treats will be available for at least the next few days. 

There is no need to stuff ourselves to the point of discomfort or ill health; we can simply sample a moderate portion of each delicious offering and then relax and enjoy the company of family and friends. The offer of Thanksgiving’s bounty, therefore, doesn’t expire at midnight — like every great sale, it will still be there tomorrow.

Cathleen Kronemer, NSCA-CPT, is a Health Coach and longtime fitness instructor at the Jewish Community Center. Her weekly Jewish Light blog is posted each Thursday.