Thanksgiving is all about family, friends, and food, but for many of us, it can also be a challenge to our attempts to stay healthy. It may seem like it’s impossible to enjoy Thanksgiving without ending up consuming huge amounts of fat, sodium, and sugar, but here are a few tricks to make your holiday a bit healthier without taking away the foods you love:
Fill half of your plate with salad, then add smaller portions of your (other) favorite foods. Eat the salad first to let it fill you up a bit before moving on to turkey, stuffing, and other heavier items when you aren’t quite as hungry.
Eat slowly. You’ll feel fuller and won’t be as tempted to overdo it, especially with less healthy foods.
Drink mostly water. Save your calories for the foods you love rather than sipping on sodas, juices, or other sweet drinks.
Use smaller plates. You can always go back for seconds or even thirds, but odds are good that you’ll eat less by taking your time and having smaller portions with your first servings.
Choose your treats. If you love your mom’s pie or another holiday favorite sweet and know your Thanksgiving won’t be complete without it, plan for it. Eat more veggies and less stuffing and potatoes during the meal and enjoy that slice of pie – but try to keep it to just one slice and hold back on the other sweets.
Go for a walk after dinner. Lots of other folks probably could use a walk too and it’s a great way to socialize while burning off a little bit of dinner. But keep in mind that a mile of walking uses about 100 calories, about the same in a one ounce serving of stuffing.
Enjoy your time with friends and family. After all, socializing has all sorts of benefits for our physical and mental health.