Thanksgiving Survival Guide

turkeyThanksgiving only comes once a year, so most people take the opportunity to splurge. Why not, right? Well, one big reason is that eating yourself sick is not healthy. Gaining weight during the holidays should be a big concern to you because you may never be able to get that weight back off.

Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be unhealthy. You can still enjoy delicious food without gaining weight. Here are some tips you can use to make your Thanksgiving a bit healthier and make sure that the only thing stuffed this year is the turkey!

Be Active

You can offset the calories you eat on Thanksgiving by creating a deficit with exercise. A great way to prevent weight gain is to eat less and move more, but if you increase your exercise routine in the weeks before Thanksgiving you may just be able to go ahead and indulge – within reason – on the holiday.

It’s also a good idea to get your family involved. Find out if there’s a Turkey Day 5K in your area, a local game of touch football, or just go on a walk early in the day. 

Don’t Bank Calories

Do not go into your Thanksgiving feast without having eaten at all that day. That is a surefire way to overeat, so make sure you have breakfast. Even a small breakfast will help give you more appetite control at the feast.

Make Recipes Healthier

It doesn’t matter if you’re hosting Thanksgiving or just bringing some food to pitch in; if you make your contributions a little healthier by cutting the fat, sugar, and calories then you’ll make a difference. Chances are, no one will even notice. Try to make your recipes healthier:

  • Use fat-free chicken broth to baste and to make gravy.
  • Incorporate sugar substitutes instead of sugar and fruit purees in your baked goods in the place of oil.
  • Reduce oil and butter when you can.
  • Use fat-free sour cream or plain yogurt in dips, mashed potatoes and casseroles.

Portion Control

Thanksgiving has a lot of offer when it comes to the variety of dishes available. A great strategy is to survey the buffet before you fill your plate. This way you can make a plan for what you really want and have what you really want without going overboard.

As a general rule, the safe bets at your feast will probably be:

  • White turkey meat
  • Roasted sweet potatoes
  • Plain veggies
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Pumpkin pie

Also, try to say no to taking seconds.

Controlling yourself on Thanksgiving isn’t very hard. Have a little bit of the things you really want and stop eating when you’re full. Enjoy the company of your family and the time you are spending together instead of thinking about the food on the buffet.

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Image used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Dave Pape

This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.