Health and Nutrition author Jennifer Ackerman writes in today's New York Times that planning your big Thanksgiving meal earlier in the day helps you eat less. That's because the body is better at recognizing it's full in the morning:
Not only does an ample morning meal provide energy for the day's labors, but it better satisfies our appetites, perhaps because the brain's satiety systems work best early in the day. People who take in more of their calories at breakfast — whether in the form of proteins, carbohydrates or fat — are likely to consume fewer calories overall than those who indulge in big meals later in the day.
Ackerman also advises against eating any part of the big meal in front of the television. And if your meal does fall later in the day, eating a healthy breakfast also helps prevent ravenous consumption later—unless, of course, you're dead-set on doing so anyways.