Thanksgiving is one of our favorite holidays full of friends, family, and turkey! It is a time to gather in unity and express gratitude for all we have. Obviously, the holiday is first and foremost centered around the turkey dinner and all its delicious trappings. However, Thanksgiving dinner has turned into a feast and we need to think about ways to minimize weight gain, and not stray from our normal eating habits. Here are some tips to help you enjoy Thanksgiving without going overboard.

  • Go for a walk before or after dinner: Use the time before or after dinner as an opportunity to get your family outside to be active. Work up an appetite for dinner or harness some of your energy from dinner by going on a walk, hike, turkey trot, or our personal favorite, flag football.
  • Drink water! Drink a full glass of water before you start eating and another full glass of water while you eat. This will hydrate you and also prevent you from overeating.
  • Stick to wine or liquor: Don’t mix liquor with sugary drinks. Use lime, lemon or sparkling water to mix. Beer typically has the most calories and the most carbohydrates. If you do drink beer look for light lagers or stouts. Stouts usually have the fewest calories. IPA’s generally have the most calories and the most carbs.
  • Aim for the relish tray: An easy way to avoid filling up on bad carbs before dinner is to hit the relish tray. The relish tray is often full of low calorie options with a decent amount of good fat, that is always the healthier option. Most people will fill up on appetizers before the main dinner without even noticing it. Be conscious about what appetizers you’re eating by taking up a post by the veggie and relish tray.
  • Use a kids plate: You don’t have to sit at the kid’s table to use the kid’s plates. A study by Cornell University found that on average a 30% reduction in plate size leads to an average 30% reduction in food consumption. Having a smaller amount of room on the plate limits your quantities without even realizing it.
  • The 8 Minute Rule: before going in for your second plate of food, wait 8 minutes and see if you’re still hungry. This time is essential for your stomach and brain to communicate if you’re still hungry.
  • Stay away from carbs: We really want you to stay away from simple carbs that are mainly found in bread and potatoes. They will sneak up on you; whether it be the hors d’oeuvres or the main dinner, it is best to stay away from the bread.

Now that you have these 7 easy tips, don’t forget the most important one which is to not be too hard on yourself. If the day does not go as planned, make sure you take the steps to get back on your regular eating pattern and get back into the gym!

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