Tips for a Healthier Thanksgiving
Enjoy the holiday feast without the guilt — or the weight gain.
Year after year, most of us pack on at least a pound (some gain more) during the holidays — and keep the extra weight permanently.
But Thanksgiving does not have to sabotage your fitness success. With a little know-how, you can satisfy your desire for traditional favorites and still enjoy a guilt-free Thanksgiving feast. After all, being stuffed is a good idea only if you are a turkey!
1. Get Active: Create a calorie deficit by exercising to burn off extra calories before you ever indulge in your favorite foods. How about starting a new family tradition of going on a hike before dinner or perhaps a friendly game of touch football!
2. Eat Breakfast: Start your day with a small but satisfying breakfast — such as an egg with a slice of Ezekial Bread toast, or a bowl of oatmeal with some almond butter- so you won’t be starving when you arrive at the gathering. Be sure to include some protein and healthy fat in the meal to help keep your metabolism firing.
3. Lighten Up: Whether you are hosting Thanksgiving dinner or bringing a few dishes to share, make your recipes healthier with less fat, sugar, and calories.
- Use fat-free and low sodium chicken broth to baste the turkey and make gravy.
- Use sugar substitutes (stevia or splenda) in place of sugar and/or fruit purees instead of oil in baked goods
- Try plain yogurt or fat-free sour cream in creamy dips, mashed potatoes, and casseroles.
4. Watch your Portions: Before you fill your plate, survey the buffet table and decide what you’re going to choose. Then select reasonable-sized portions of foods you cannot live without. Don’t waste your calories on food you can eat year round.
5. Fill up on the Healthy Choices: base your meal on garden vegetables, especially greens, turkey, ham, nuts and seeds. Try to avoid as much processed food if possible.
6. Focus on Family and Friends: Thanksgiving is not just about the delicious bounty of food. It’s a time to celebrate relationships with family and friends. The main event should be family and friends socializing, spending quality time together, not just what is on the buffet.