Just like your birthday and Christmas, Thanksgiving is one of those holidays where calories don’t count right? I’m sure many of you would like to agree… but the reality behind it is that’s not really the case. Although the importance of this day is to reflect on what you’re thankful for while spending quality time with family and friends, it’s also centered around celebrating with limitless amounts of food. Like we’ve talked about many times before it is important to indulge and enjoy all the delicious home cooking. However, with all the tempting food, Thanksgiving can also be seen as a diet disaster. While “diet” is not in my vocabulary (a well-balanced lifestyle is!), here are a few tips I put together to help keep you on track while enjoying the more important things like family, friends and good company (and Grandma’s overly iced cinnamon roles of course :))
- Don’t skip breakfast to save yourself for the feast! Although it may seem like a good idea experts say eating a small meal in the morning can control your overall appetite for the day. Eating a small meal with fiber and protein will take the edge off your appetite and keep you from over doing it later in the day.
- Savor your food and take time to enjoy it instead of letting your eager eyes get the best of you– Put your fork down between bites and engage in conversation– Focus on family and friends!!
- Lighten up your recipes: Use non fat greek yogurt or low-fat sour cream to lighten potato dishes, casseroles and dips. Also sub chicken stock and reduce oil and butter when possible.
- Portion control: Enjoy ALL your favorites, don’t pass any up– maybe just save a little more room on your plate for the greens and turkey over all the carbs!
- Get your fitness on pre meal! After all the turkey I highly doubt you’ll take time to sweat it out that night. Plus when you sweat it out in the morning it’s clear in your mind what it takes to work off that cinnamon roll– but trust me, don’t let that stop you from having it (just maybe the second.. or third) Make it a family event– sign up for a Turkey Trot– they take place all over.
- Don’t hover over the appetizer table— the closer you are the more you eat. One thing I wish I was better at is getting a plate for your appetizers so you don’t endlessly over eat by picking until you’re too full for your actual meal.
- Drink lots of water throughout the day and don’t confuse hunger for thirst.
- An interesting tip I heard through a friend is to eat with your non-dominant hand. It will result in eating a lot slower and overall taking in fewer calories.
- Make a healthy and light app for everyone to snack on! For my “Friend’s Giving” this last weekend I decided on this 5 layer Mediterranean dip, or you can try yesterday’s vegan cheese ball!
- Don’t beat yourself up— It’s one day!
- Also help out with the dishes! Gets a little calorie burn in instead of soaking in a food coma.
Overall most importantly don’t focus on the food, focus on your family and friends. I have so much to be thankful for in my life and I couldn’t be more grateful for the people I have in it!!