10 Tips to Keep You From Blowing It This Thanksgiving!

//10 Tips to Keep You From Blowing It This Thanksgiving!

Some research suggests that the average American gains 5lbs from Thanksgiving to New Years, while others claim a more accurate estimate is closer to 1-3lbs. I can’t speak for anyone else but stepping on a scale and seeing the number go up instead of down is bad news in ANY amount! Several people have asked me how I handle my healthy lifestyle during the holidays. I can’t say it has been easy, but last year, from November-January I actually LOST 18lbs! So since Thanksgiving is upon us I thought I’d share some of the things I did to keep the numbers going down last Thanksgiving.

1. Eat a healthy breakfast

Contrary to popular belief, starving yourself all day to save the calories actually works against you. By the time you sit down to your “feast” you are ravenous and will end up eating more than if you started your day by revving your engine with a healthy breakfast. Go for a meal that includes a mix of whole grains & protein. It doesn’t have to be big, but you want to get your motor running.

2. Start out your day with a good workout

I know. I know. Who wants to exercise on Thanksgiving? Well I can promise you this, if you make the sacrifice early on, you’ll reap vast rewards! It’ll make you feel great (thank you, Mr. Endorphin) and you’ll be more likely to make better choices throughout your day. Do it as a family. Go for a walk, dance around the living room during the musical performances on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, challenge your kids to a game, be creative…but move your body!

3. Get an accountability partner

When my sister-in-law Andrea told me that she has lost 20lbs in the last few months I immediately suggested we hold each other accountable Thursday. Knowing that someone else knows your goals can help you stay focused.We plan to exercise together and help one another think twice about what we put in our mouths. See if anyone else you will be spending the holidays with can do the same for you.

4. Drink at least 8 ounces of water right before you eat

Full stomach…eat less.

5. Eat slowly…enjoy the conversation

Your body takes time to know it is full. Enjoy your meal by savoring and appreciating each bite. Put your fork down between bites and take your time. Stuffing it down quickly and immediately going back for more isn’t really enjoying it. The main event should be family, friends, socializing, and conversation, not just what’s on your plate.

6. Call on Jesus

If this holiday is really about giving thanks, lets remember Who we are thankful to. Cultivate a heart of gratitude even while you are eating. Thank Him for all of your blessings and invite Him to join you for your meal.

7. Lean on the Word

I’ve often heard Beth Moore jokingly say that on the 8th day God created note cards! From her I learned a method of relying on God’s power through His Word. I keep spiral-bound note cards in my purse. On days like Thanksgiving you will most likely see those note cards sitting right in front of my plate. Here are a few scriptures I plan to have front and center this Thursday:

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control. (2 Timothy 1:7 AMP)

You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial. (1 Corinthians 10:23 NLT)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7 NIV)

I relied on several scriptures in my Journey to lose 100lbs, memorizing and quoting them when I am tempted. You can see more of them here.

8. Wait before you go back for seconds

Take a breather. Get away from the table for a while. Ask yourself if your body is hungry or if  you’re trying to fill some other void. Then repeat tips 6 & 7!

9. Don’t wait until tomorrow to make healthy choices

I’ve always believed the lie that “Since I’ve already blown it I might as well continue. I’ll start back fresh on Monday”. NO!!! If you overeat, finish strong! Every choice you make matters. Don’t wait until tomorrow. Need some inspiration? I got a song about it! Like to hear it? Here ya go!


I know the title of this blog says I have 10 steps. But I’m sure that several of you have other tips you can add to this list. Leave a comment below and lets share. I’d love to hear from you (and I’m sure others would love to hear what has worked for you too)! So what is number 10?


I want to enjoy Thanksgiving. That includes the meal. But I also want to walk away from that day not feeling sick and disappointed. I hope you feel the same way. We can do this friends! Are you with me?


2011-11-23T06:24:37+00:00Nov 23rd|Blog|18 Comments


  1. Tamara November 23, 2011 at 9:23 pm - Reply

    I thank you for your openness with this topic. I have been following you since American Idol and am so proud of the woman you are. I have struggled with my weight my whole life. Ever since I read Made to Crave last January, my weight has consumed me. I force myself to eat…………I know that sounds weird and this is the first time I have acknowledged it outside of my head! I am so tired of the struggle and wonder what it was that was the final straw that caused you to really make a lasting change. would love to hear from you.


  2. Ronda Fantetti November 23, 2011 at 9:26 pm - Reply

    You are an inspiration sister =;) I am sorry that sometimes it can be so hurtful to be so public about your weight loss. I lost 85 lbs and it is not easy. People look at you differently and you also look at yourself differently. It is a different place to be. Staying in prayer, having an awesome support group of friends and family and serving others helps to take the focus off of ourselves. I try to stay busy. Thanks for the tips! I love you and am so blessed by your music =;)

    Hugs! Happy Thanksgiving!
    Ronda Fantetti

  3. Cheryl November 23, 2011 at 9:46 pm - Reply

    Thank you Mandisa! I needed that. You are amazing.
    Happy Thanksgiving…God Bless.

  4. Mary November 23, 2011 at 10:07 pm - Reply

    Thanks so much for these encouraging thoughts. I’ve struggled to lose 75 pounds this year, and am terrified about the next 5 weeks, especially since I still have 75 more to lose, I am inspired to lose, not gain.

  5. Michele November 23, 2011 at 10:21 pm - Reply

    Good ideas, Mandisa. I have another one. Bypass the food you can have any day of the year. If someone always brings potato salad from the grocery store, skip it. If Aunt Betty always brings her famous homemade ______________, have a little. Enjoy it! Savor it! Ask her for the recipe! Be selective in your choices.

    God has taken 80 pounds of selfishness off me in the last 2 years! I don’t plan on giving the devil back any of the ground God died for and I’ve worked for.

  6. Radio Robin November 24, 2011 at 12:36 am - Reply

    Thanks for the tips, I feel inspired and empowered!
    #10 It won’t be your last meal (God willing!) so taste a little of what you like but mostly pile on the plain veggies and turkey meat. Limit the gravy, carbs and high sugar items. You’ll feel better about yourself later on!

    I’ve lost 60 pounds since January…once I got the heavy carbs and sugar out of my system I don’t want them all the time. Between Mandisa’s amazing example, Lysa Terkyrst’s Made To Crave and working out, I thank God He’s helped me get healthier to be better for Him.

  7. Tame Adams November 24, 2011 at 11:59 am - Reply

    Thank you for sharing this, and the Bible Verses, Ms. Disa 🙂 I hope that I can remember all this, and will refer back to it during the day!! Happy Thanksgiving, and God Bless you & your family 🙂 I’m thankful for your message, your songs, and your heart!

  8. Hannah November 24, 2011 at 1:00 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the tips Mandisa!

  9. Melinda November 24, 2011 at 4:13 pm - Reply

    #10 – Only eat what you really love. Those special dishes that only get made once a year, not the things you can eat every day. Also, if you don’t like something, don’t eat it. Also, don’t deprive yourself. Have a slice of pie. Just don’t have half a pie.

    Thanks for the other tips. Now, I need to go eat my breakfast.

  10. stephanie November 25, 2011 at 10:25 pm - Reply

    Thank you Mandisa for being such a inspiration, may the Lord continue to bless you and your ministry!

  11. Pamela Hunter November 25, 2011 at 11:07 pm - Reply

    Happy Thanksgiving, Sweet Sister!

    I appreciate you and your heart so much. About 2 weeks ago my husband Shawn had a cardiac event that really made us re-evaluate our Thanksgiving menu.

    We found alternative recipes in the “Eat This, Not That” cookbook for low carb sweet potato cassarole and low carb/low fat mac & cheese. They were both very tasty. We also had roasted green beans, brussel sprouts, and cauliflower. Of course, there was turkey, minus the gravy, and our lemon creme pie was low fat. (A weight watchers recipe) The only item on the menu that was not in away stretch of the imagination healthful, was the Paula Deen pumpkin gooey butter cake.

    We all decided to eat lots of veggies, moderate portions of meat, pasta and potato’, and small portions of dessert so we would not create temptation for Shawn. I, myself, could also stand to eat a healthier diet and lose weight. Not just for my health, but to be an example for my kids.

    When my Sis-in-Law, Stephanie, and I were at WoF, we were so inspired and encouraged by both yours and Sandi’s story’s. Thank you for being transparent and culnerable. For sharing your struggles and triumphs. Thank you for being real. Stephanie and I have both struggled with weight loss. We have both renewed our resolve to fight on.

    God bless you and keep on singing.
    Choosing joy,

  12. Nicole Gibson January 15, 2012 at 4:05 pm - Reply

    Hi Mandisa! I am so excited about your success and your strong faith in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. You have inspired me. May the good Lord continue to bless you in all you set out to do. I read your article in the March 2011 Jet Issue..Awesome!! This scripture is powerful..!! “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” 3 John 2.

    God Bless,

  13. Kim May 13, 2012 at 12:30 pm - Reply

    Hi Mandisa, lately I have been struggling with food. I have put on some weight and it bothers me. But I know that it is the result of turning to food instead of Jesus. Since I am in college I get stressed every time a test comes around and I always seem to be eating during those times. After two years of this I can see a difference in the way I look. But I am trying not to let that be my motivation to lose weight.

    I just wanted to let you know that your journey to 100 is encouraging me so much. I love you post “Scriptures on My Journey to 100”. God has blessed me through you. Thanks for helping me remember that I need to turn to God, and not food, for everything!

    In Christ,

    P.S. I love your music!!!!!!!!

  14. Emily June 12, 2012 at 3:13 am - Reply

    I had never heard “Waiting for Tomorrow” before now. LOVE IT!!! By the way, I absolutely love “Born for This” too. I think I’ll type it out in pretty colors and hang it in my room!!!


    Romans 8:24-39 (fav. verse)

  15. Faith July 9, 2012 at 10:14 pm - Reply

    Hey Mandisa! This comment is totally unrelated to the post (and is several months late), but it’s the only way I could figure out how to contact you. I just want to thank you for singing “Stronger.” It has been a humongous encouragement to me before, and when I heard it on the radio this morning I just started crying because it gave me so much hope. Thank you for using the beautiful voice God gave you to bless me. God bless you.

  16. Cheyenne December 7, 2012 at 11:27 pm - Reply

    Mandisa, you are such an inspiration. You have inspired me to lose weight (20 pounds down, 40 to go) and more importantly, you have inspired me to deepen my walk with Jesus. You shine so bright, you make me want to shine too! Not only do you have a beautiful voice and music I truly enjoy, you are also a positive role model. Thank you!

  17. Kavee Mutonga March 23, 2013 at 2:40 pm - Reply

    Thanks for being so encouraging Disa 🙂 I am encouraged to stay on track and loose all my weight. Bless you!

  18. Michelle October 22, 2013 at 8:27 pm - Reply

    I love how God sends us his Word, certain people, circumstances, and topics that turn our hearts to replacing the little gods with the One True God! You Mandisa are one of those people I know and believe God has brought into my life through your music and testimony to know I am not alone, God loves me , God made me beautiful, and the number on the scale does not tell me my worth. You are an inspiration and I know you only give the glory to God ! Thank you 🙂

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