Can Thanksgiving Really Make Your Metabolism Hotter?

Last week I was contacted by CNN so they could get some “expert” advice on how not to eat like a pig when eating your turkey. Every year for the last several decades, some major news outlet asks me such questions around Thanksgiving as if they’ve never been asked before. Seems that too many people are worried about eating too many calories, which would mean too many extra pounds, which means too many subsequent days of punishing exercise and food prison. What a conundrum. We’re trying to celebrate the “discovery” of America, which we didn’t really discover, by giving thanks for such bountiful amounts of food, which we feel guilty about eating. I wonder if the pilgrims were as concerned about fitting into those cute colonial clothes as we are about fitting into our yoga pants.

So, when the young smart eager-to-learn interviewer at CNN asked me what the best strategy was to limit our appetite around the holidays, I had one rather un-profound answer:

Don’t.

I went on to say that I felt we needed, as a culture, more ritual. But the healthy kind of ritual.

The type of ritual where we can stop the work, slow down, feast, feel, discuss, giggle, pontificate, resuscitate, inebriate, integrate, and above all else, celebrate. Far too much time is spent in the American way of chasing after more. Yet more never seems to be enough. Giving thanks is a rather odd notion in the material times we live in. Some of us have so much access to so much food that we’ve become enslaved to our fears of eating, our fears of body fat, and gripped by the massive illogic of media images that would have our women looking like fashion-conscious starvation victims, and our men looking euro-slim and cash heavy.

Ritual can heal us. The human psyche loves repetition, loves eternally returning to a happy and holy place. Thanksgiving is as good as it gets. Calorie-count another time. Give thanks for food, for love, for life, for your body, for what you have right now. Healing happens when love is present. Metabolism gets hotter when we relax. Digestion is empowered when we feel pleasured. And food increases in nutritional value when it’s shared with others.

Thank you for your continued friendship and camaraderie and support. Though we likely haven’t met, I believe you and I are enthusiastic about and committed to the same positive messages about food, nutrition, health, and Life. The world needs so much healing. Lets give thanks that we are fortunate enough to be up to the task. And for one day, and at least one day, lets celebrate the Journey.

My warmest regards,

Marc David
Founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating
© Institute For The Psychology of Eating, All Rights Reserved, 2014

PS. If you’d like to read the article I wrote for CNN click here: http://www.cnn.com/2011/11/21/health/power-nostalgia-thanksgiving/index.html

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  • This echos how I feel. We live year to year with celebrations that bring us fear, guilt and very little joy. Food is often at the centre of that. It’s time to take a different perspective! This post is a great start 🙂

  • Excellent advice and article! Thank you!

  • E

    Awesome article! Although, I don’t think Thanksgiving is the celebration for discovering the Americas…

  • Beautifully written article, as always!

  • Karin

    Protein and fat release more heat than carbs as they are metabolized. Think of all that heat the turkey releases!!

  • Karin

    About the guilty part, we need to definitely eliminate the overeating desire from the entire holiday season!

About The Author
Marc David
Founder

Marc David is the Founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, a leading visionary, teacher and consultant in Nutritional Psychology, and the author of the classic and best-selling works Nourishing Wisdom and The Slow Down Diet. His work has been featured on CNN, NBC and numerous media outlets. His books have been translated into over 10 languages, and his approach appeals to a wide audience of eaters who are looking for fresh, inspiring and innovative messages about food, body and soul. He lectures internationally, and has held senior consulting positions at Canyon Ranch Resorts, the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, the Johnson & Johnson Corporation, and the Disney Company. Marc is also the co-founder of the Institute for Conscious Sexuality and Relationship.