Just because it’s Thanksgiving doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your health and gain weight from overindulgence. Here are ten tips for a healthier Thanksgiving:
- Go for a 30-45 minute brisk walk Thanksgiving morning. That will create a calorie deficit and also has a tendency to make you more conscious about the types and amount of foods that you might eat later in the day. My family has a big soccer game planned for the afternoon before dinner.
- Eat a breakfast Thanksgiving morning that consists of a protein and some fiber. This will help curb your appetite so that you don’t show up to the Thanksgiving dinner table and devour everything that you can get your hands on. A good breakfast would include an egg, whole wheat toast and some fruit or even a protein smoothie.
- Make your holiday favorites with less fat, sugar and calories. Use fat-free chicken broth or vegetable broth for gravy and reduce oil and butter as much as possible. Steam fry vegetables in water.
- Choose the foods that are higher in nutrients (vegetables) to take up the most room on your plate first. Then you won’t have as much room for higher calorie and lower nutrient foods like mashed potatoes, stuffing and gravy.
- Eat slowly and talk with your friends and family between bites. Thanksgiving is a time to catch up with family and friends. It is not just about the food. But, remember to put the fork down if the conversation gets heated so no one thinks that you are being threatening!
- Skip the second plate of food. Remember, leftovers are better anyhow.
- Go easy on the high calorie alcohol and try sparkling mineral water instead as your drink of choice. This will keep you hydrated and sober for the drive home.
- Volunteer to clean up. This will get you away from eating more dessert and will burn more calories than falling asleep on the couch.
- Pack leftovers for family and friends so that you don’t have so much food in the fridge waiting to tempt you to overeat later or the next day.
- Go for a post-meal walk. You will feel better if you get some easy exercise after you eat and you might not eat as much for dinner if you know you have to bend over to put your running shoes on afterwards.
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at BTF!