It's hard to believe Thanksgiving is just two days away! For a lot of people this day is considered a "unhealthy day" that jeopardizes health goals, but it really doesn't have to be that way. If you think about it Thanksgiving is just one day of the year, and one day of "unhealthy eating" is not going to cause you to gain 10 pounds just like one day of "healthy eating" isn't going to cause you to lose 10 pounds. I encourage you to allow yourself to enjoy this day and good quality time with your family, and if you are motivated to make it a "healthier" Thanksgiving below are a few tips to support you. I hope you find these helpful, and have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving!
Healthy Thanksgiving Tips:
Eat a healthy meal or snack before the Thanksgiving meal: Often people "save up" for the meal, and end up overeating and being miserably full. If you eat something beforehand you are more likely to not eat as much, and have more energy to actually enjoy the quality time with the family versus needing the classic "Turkey nap".
Everything in moderation: This day only happens once a year so don't feel like you have to deprive yourself of the sweet potato casserole; stuffing; pumpkin pie; wine; etc. Instead consider practicing moderation or portion control. This approach can allow you to enjoy all of your favorite foods while keeping you on track with your health goals.
Eat slowly: Consider slowing down while eating and actually putting your fork down in between bites. This can support you with further enjoying your company and food, and you are more inclined to eat less because you might recognize you are fuller sooner. It's also a great approach to help with your digestion.
Hydrate: Consider drinking more water. Often we mistake thirst for hunger, so staying hydrated could help us to cut back on the portions. It's also a great thing to do if you are drinking alcohol to balance out your drinks, and to support you with feeling a little better in the morning.
Fill up on the healthy items: If available consider filling up on the vegetables and fruits to get a little nutrients to balance out the other "heavier" foods you will be eating. This strategy can also help with portion control since these foods have more fiber which tend to fill us up more. If your family meal typically doesn't consist of any "healthy" foods consider bringing a side. For example I always cook brussels sprouts and bring this as a healthy side, and everyone ends up loving them!
Get active: Consider doing a fun family activity after the meal, or exercising in the morning before the festivities begin. I encourage you to make whatever activity you choose fun, and do it with the family if they are up for it. This is a great way to burn off some excess kcals and to get some good quality time with your loved ones. Some examples of activities include: going on a walk; playing a fun competitive sport like kickball; playing hide and seek with the kids where you are moving around trying to find them; etc
Give yourself some grace and ENJOY: Again, this is just one day out of the year, so if you go overboard there is absolutely no need to beat yourself up. Like I said earlier just one day of "unhealthy" eating is not going to make you gain 10 pounds just like one day of "healthy eating" is not going to make you lose 10 pounds, so I encourage you to leave this self-deprecation at the door and enjoy this day with your loved ones!