If you’re anything like me, you are giddy with excitement for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. For me, Thanksgiving is the perfect meal: turkey, stuffing and my personal favorite – mashed potatoes with gravy! I firmly believe that one should not diet during the holidays nor deprive themselves the enjoyment of a well-cooked meal shared among family and friends.
That being said, I have been known to go overboard in the past and have learned my lesson. Today, we’re sharing with you 5 tips to enjoy your thanksgiving and not blow your healthy lifestyle. These tips will leave you feeling fulfilled – like you thoroughly enjoyed the holiday – but won’t leave you with a food hangover that lasts through cyber Monday.
- The Pre-Game: Mind what you are eating in the hours leading up to your Thanksgiving event. Now, DO NOT refrain from eating anything. We all know that will just to gorging ourselves when it comes to the main event. Have a sensible breakfast with enough protein to fill you up. Snack on lighter fare throughout the day such as nuts and veggies. Keep yourself sustained, but not stuffed.
- Prioritize: What do you love the most about the Thanksgiving meal? Is it the appetizers shared or the meal itself? For me, and many others, it’s all about the meal. So when the appetizers are set out, choose wisely. Snack, again, on lighter things. Veggies with hummus, nuts, fruits, small portions of cheeses and avoid heavy dips and chips and breads.
- Have a Drink and Be Merry: But proceed with caution! If you enjoy having a drink over the holiday, by all means, enjoy one or two. Don’t go over that amount though and again, choose wisely. A glass or two of red wine will have more health benefits (if not widely studied, then as recommended by my grandma) then sugary mixed drinks. Be sure to fill in the rest of your liquid consumption with plenty of water to keep you hydrated.
- Fill up on the good stuff and enjoy your favorite: What is your favorite? Mine, obviously, are mashed potatoes. I fill up my plate with all of the things that pack the biggest nutritious punch. Turkey, greens, sweet potatoes (not the yams with the marshmallows), green beans and then I make sure I eat all of the good-for-you items before I dive into my weakness – creamy mashed potatoes. I refuse to deprive myself, but I make sure I’m well and full of the good-for-you items before I get to those taters.
- Something Sweet: Oh sugar, it’s so hard to find any redeeming qualities in sugar, but on the other hand, pumpkin pie…’nough said. So, what’s one to do? As many of you do, cutting added sugar out of a diet is an important thing. But, we’re only human and if you’re going to regret not having a slice of Grandma’s pumpkin pie, you should enjoy it. As mentioned Tip #4, pick out what you really want and have that. Have a taste or bite here and there of other things, but refrain from having a slice of every pie and a whole cookie or brownie on top of it too.
Seems easy enough, right? Bottom line: moderation is key. You CAN enjoy your Thanksgiving and not blow your healthy lifestyle. Enjoy your day and get up on Black Friday and go for a walk – quickly and not just in line waiting for the next deal.
From all of us at Dunedin Family Fitness to all of you – have a very Happy Thanksgiving!