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10 Tips for a Healthy Thanksgiving

Nov 17, 2015

Thanksgiving is only a few days away! Are you concerned about how to make it through the day without regrets? Take some time to read these 10 tips for a healthy Thanksgiving to prepare yourself for the feast and ensure your Thanksgiving is one to remember — for all the good reasons.

  1. Fill up before the big meal. Eat a healthy breakfast, drink plenty of water, and have a healthy snack before it’s time for the big feast.
  2. Eat smaller portions. It’s easy to overdo it on Thanksgiving. Use a smaller plate to help keep your portion sizes small.
  3. Savor each bite. Put your fork down between each bite and take time to be grateful for the food in front of you. Eating slowly gives your brain time to send the signal that your stomach is full. Eat too quickly and you’ll likely miss that signal until it’s too late and you’re stuffed.
  4. Stop when you’re full. Your turkey should be stuffed—not you. The purpose of Thanksgiving isn’t to gorge yourself; enjoy your meal, but remember, there will always be leftovers.
  5. Add flavor with seasonings and broth, not fat. Use fat-free chicken broth to baste your turkey and make your gravy instead of using butter.
  6. Skip the skin. Eating the skin can double the fat content of your meat, and significantly increase calories. Remember, light meat has fewer calories, but less iron than dark meat.
  7. Make healthy substitutions. If a recipe calls for sugar, substitute it with pure honey instead. Honey is a natural sweetener that can be substituted 1:1 in most recipes. Fruit puree, such as applesauce, can be subbed for oil in baked goods, and plain yogurt is a healthy alternative to sour cream in dips, mashed potatoes, and casseroles.
  8. Eat your calories don’t drink them. Stay hydrated with water or tea, and avoid alcohol or sodas that pack on what we call “empty calories.”
  9. Be active. Exercise first thing in the morning, and then after the big meal, get outside and play a game of flag football with the family, or go for a brisk walk before you veg out on the couch to watch the football game.
  10. Focus on weight maintenance, rather than weight loss. With the celebrations and the stress of the holidays, thinking too much about trying to lose weight during the holidays will only add stress, which can in turn lead to weight gain. Instead, simply focus on maintaining your weight by exercising and eating smart.

Remember, the holidays are more about relishing the time you have with family and friends, rather than the food. Keep an attitude of gratitude and savor the time you have to spend with loved ones.

Need help planning your Thanksgiving Day menu? Check out our Nicholson Clinic-approved Thanksgiving recipes here

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