Thanksgiving comes once a year, and it’s usually celebrated with a spread of delicious food.
So, many people end up eating a lot during Thanksgiving, and the pounds can add up in that time of year (holiday season) from Thanksgiving to Christmas.
Many people struggle with staying on track with their weight loss journey and healthy eating at that time of year, since Thanksgiving foods can be unhealthy, but you still want to enjoy Thanksgiving with your family and friends without having to worry about calories.
While it’s definitely okay to eat anything you want and not stress about weight loss during Thanksgiving, there are people that still want to pay attention to what they’re eating.
So, here are some tips that will help you have a healthy Thanksgiving, without sacrificing the delicious Thanksgiving dinner.
11 Healthy Thanksgiving Tips
Fill Your Plate With Healthier Food
If you fill your plate with healthier food, you will eat more of the healthy stuff, than you’ll eat the unhealthy stuff.
This tactic works always, and Thanksgiving is no exception. Fill your plate with salads, veggies, and lean foods, and you’ll eat less of the not-so-healthy stuff since you’ll feel full from the healthy foods.
Choose A Healthier Side Dish
While mac & cheese is definitely one of the most delicious side dishes you can eat, choosing a healthier side dish can help you eat healthier. Instead of going with mac & cheese and mashed potatoes, go for green beans, Brussels sprouts, or even sweet potatoes.
Get A Smaller Plate Of The Unhealthiest Foods
This is similar to the first tip – but if you need to get more plates, get a smaller plate for the unhealthiest foods. That way, you won’t put too much on your plate, so you won’t eat too much.
And if you’re eating pumpkin pie, if you only have room for one piece of the pie on your plate, the chances of you stopping after that one piece are much higher!
Do Physical Activity
What better way to burn off those extra calories, than to do physical activity before the Thanksgiving dinner? You can work out by yourself, or you can even do something with your family and friends – play football, basketball, do yoga, whatever you guys like doing together.
Make Healthier Versions Of The Classics
Make healthier versions of all of Thanksgiving meals (if you’re the one making food), so that way you can eat more food, without gaining more weight. If you’re going to someone else’s house on Thanksgiving Day, offer to bring something yourself, so you can eat something healthy and delicious without skipping meals. There’s no reason a holiday meal has to be unhealthy.
Eat More Veggies
This goes without saying, but eat more fruits and vegetables. They’re great for you, and you’ll fill up on them and leave less room for mac & cheese.
Go Easy On The Alcohol
Alcohol is super high in calories, so try to go easy on it – you don’t want to keep your diet in check only to end up drinking your calories.
Beer, wine, all of it contains so many calories, some even more than the food you’ll be eating. So, that’s definitely something to keep in mind.
The easiest way to cut calories without sacrificing tasty food is by cutting out alcohol (or reducing it to the minimum).
Drinking water throughout the whole Thanksgiving dinner will help you keep your appetite in check, so you don’t binge eat if you get too hungry.
Drinking water is not only great for your skin, hair, and overall health, but it is also a great way to trick your stomach into thinking it’s fuller than it actually is, so you have enough time to decide if you’re truly still hungry, or you were just thirsty.
When there’s tons of food in front of you, it’s easy to get carried away. So, when you’re putting food on your plate, put less rather than more. You can always easily add more food if you need it, but when you add too much food at the beginning, what often happens is that you’ll end up eating all of it just because it’s on your plate, even if you become full at the half of the plate.
So, keep portion control in mind whenever putting food on your plate.
If you want to save up calories for the big meal, grab less appetizers as well, so you can have a bigger portion of the main dish.
Eat A Healthy Breakfast
Some people choose to skip breakfast on Thanksgiving day, because they want to be able to eat more for the actual Thanksgiving meal, but that’s a mistake. You’ll be so hungry that you’ll eat way too much (and probably won’t pay attention to the food you are eating). Not to mention, skipping meals is never recommended. Instead, start your day with a healthy breakfast. When you eat breakfast, you won’t be as hungry for lunch, so you won’t overeat.
Here is one of my favorite easy tips for a healthy diet even during the holidays, and it has nothing to do with the food itself. Eat slowly. Put the fork down between bites. That way, you’ll actually be able to tell when you’re getting full, and you won’t end up overeating. Plus, it’s much better for digestion.