Thanksgiving Survival Guide

Nov 14, 2022
10TIPS-BLOGThanksgiving is just around the corner! We recognize that the holiday season can be difficult for people who struggle with food and maintaining a healthy body weight.  Are you concerned about how to make it through another Thanksgiving holiday without regrets? We’re here to help! Here are our top tips for a healthy Thanksgiving.

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.

Eat smaller portions. It’s easy to overdo it on Thanksgiving. Use a smaller plate (or try a portion control plate) to help keep your portion sizes small.

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.

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.

Add flavor with seasonings and broth, not fat. Use fat-free chicken broth to baste your turkey and make your gravy instead of butter.

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.

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.

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."

Stay 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.

Know it’s OK to say “no.” Most importantly, remember that it is OK to politely decline food when offered. A simple response, such as “No, thank you.” or “that looks delicious but I’m not hungry” will do. If you feel the pressure to overeat from loved ones during the holidays, remember that you do not owe anyone an explanation for the decision to contend for your health!

Put these tips into place, and lean into our private Facebook community for support from others who are on the same journey, and you can be sure your Thanksgiving will be one to remember — for all the right reasons!

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