It’s that time of year again, when families gather together to share a meal and celebrate the season. Many people look forward to this holiday with anticipation, but it can also be filled with stress if you are preparing food for another person who is on a restricted diet or has certain needs. This year, we want to give you some tips on how to make your Turkey Day as healthy as possible! Below are 10 top tips for a healthy thanksgiving.
- 1 Eat Breakfast
- 2 Stay Active
- 3 Limit Alcohol Consumption
- 4 Drink Water
- 5 Be Mindful Of Your Portions And Plate
- 6 Eat Slowly
- 7 Stop When You Are Full
- 8 Choose High-Protein Foods
- 9 Eat More Fiber
- 10 Eat More Vegetables
- 11 Avoid Processed Foods
- 12 Avoid Snacking Between Meals
- 13 Don’t Overeat Desserts & Sweets During Dinner
- 14 Enjoy The Company You
Skipping meals to bank calories for later is a common misconception when it comes to dieting. In fact, it can be more harmful to your metabolism than helpful. Skipping meals slows down the process of fat loss and reduces energy levels throughout the day. Skipping dinner on Thanksgiving might lower your blood sugar levels, making you feel hungry soon after and prompting you to overeat once you’re finally able to eat. Start the day with a healthy, protein-rich breakfast like Greek yogurt with nuts and fruit or a protein shake. A light lunch should include lots of fiber and fresh veggies.
Start your holiday off on the right foot by getting some exercise. Even if you are basting the turkey all day, there is plenty of time to squeeze in a workout before guests arrive. Take advantage of the beautiful autumn weather for an invigorating walk or jog outside. Keep yourself busy by helping with Thanksgiving dinner tasks like setting the table and washing dishes so that your hands are too full to eat!
Limit Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol can interfere with fat-burning hormones in our bodies by lowering levels of testosterone and increasing estrogen production. A good amount is one drink per day for women and two drinks per week for men. If you do choose to indulge during Thanksgiving Day itself, plan ahead so that it doesn’t turn into an all-day binge session! Try something light such as champagne—yes, this celebratory beverage does have some health benefits!
Water is not only essential for keeping our body hydrated, but it also helps us to avoid overeating. Sip on a glass of water before digging in, and you might find yourself less hungry once the meal begins. For added zest, add fresh lemon or lime wedges to your water. Drinking water with a meal can also help to fill you up and slow down the absorption of food into your stomach.
Be Mindful Of Your Portions And Plate
It’s important not to overload our plate with foods high in calories but low in nutritional value, such as white bread and sugary desserts like pumpkin pie. Instead, try filling half of your plate with fresh veggies and leafy greens while reserving one quarter for lean protein (turkey or roasted chicken) and another quarter for whole grains like brown rice or quinoa. This way, we get lots of fiber without loading on too many extra calories!
We often eat more than we realize when our attention is focused on other activities, like watching television or scrolling through social media. Take time to enjoy your food by concentrating all of your senses on the Thanksgiving meal in front of you! You’ll be less likely to overeat if you savor each bite and give yourself time between bites for the flavors to spread across your tongue.
Stop When You Are Full
Thanksgiving is a time to appreciate the abundance we have in our lives, but it’s also important to stop when we’re full. It can be difficult not to finish everything on your plate as you look around and see others finishing their food—but try! The best way to prevent overeating during Thanksgiving dinner or any meal for that matter is by listening to our body’s cues and respecting them.
Choose High-Protein Foods
Turkey, ham, salmon—all delicious options but not exactly what comes to mind when one thinks about a healthy holiday feast. The good news is that there are plenty of low-fat protein sources available at this festive season’s table. Try serving up some lean cuts of pork tenderloin with veggies instead of the usual turkey and cranberry sauce.
Eat More Fiber
Fiber is a very filling food. Plate your Thanksgiving dinner with non-starchy vegetables like leafy greens, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, green beans, and other fibrous veggies to make it more filling. You should also include high-fiber foods like beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds. It will keep you fuller longer without making you gain weight.
Eat More Vegetables
Vegetables are loaded with nutrients and fiber. Try to incorporate at least one serving of vegetables per meal, with each food containing more than 50 percent vegetable ingredients. Instead of mashed potatoes or stuffing, serve up some sweet potato casserole!
Avoid Processed Foods
Instead of focusing on the turkey itself, try choosing a whole ham as an alternative option that is much lower in fat but still contains all the delicious flavor you love about Thanksgiving dinner. You can also swap out white bread for wheat varieties if they’re available. These minor changes will make it easier to stay healthy this holiday season!
Avoid Snacking Between Meals
You wouldn’t eat three large meals a day for every single mealtime during the year, right? Then why would you do this on Thanksgiving Day as well? Instead of eating four big meals a day, keep your total calorie intake under control by sticking with smaller portions more frequently throughout the entire holiday season. The other benefit is that you won’t feel quite so stuffed at dinner time! This will only make it harder to lose weight post-Thanksgiving.
Don’t Overeat Desserts & Sweets During Dinner
Try saving desserts for after you’ve finished eating so that they don’t fill you up too much before the main course even arrives! Alternatively, take just one small piece if it’s something incredibly delicious but very high in calories. You can also try using a smaller plate so that you eat less food overall. Desserts and sweets are often high in refined sugar and fat, so it’s best to enjoy them sparingly.
Enjoy The Company You
Your Thanksgiving dinner is a time to be with friends and family. Instead of focusing on the food as your primary source of entertainment, focus more attention on those around you! Be sure to spend some quality time catching up with loved ones rather than not saying anything at all because you have a mouthful of pumpkin pie.
In conclusion, Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful for all the wonderful things we have in our lives. It may seem daunting to try and maintain your health during such an indulgent season, but it’s not as hard as you think! With these top tips, you’ll feel much better about making healthier choices at this year’s feast. Happy holidays!