Thanksgiving is a time of celebrating with your loved ones all the things you are thankful for in your life. It is a day that should be enjoyed and not cause stress and anxiety about food and family, but sometimes it does.
My best advice is to relax and enjoy your meal and don’t stress about what you are eating, it is one meal and we all know one meal is not going to make or break you.
However, If you are looking for some advice on things that will help you enjoy the holidays.
Fill your plate! This may sound like opposite advice then I would give but I mean fill it up with veggies and protein first. Fill yourself up with those string beans and lean turkey breast first before you hit up the sweet potato pie. When you load up that stuff first you will be less likely to gorge on the fatty foods that tend to pack on the pounds.
Play defense! This tip is not only for Thanksgiving day but for the whole holiday season. If you know that you are attending a big dinner or cocktail party play defense by bringing your own food with you. What I mean is that you are in control of what you put into your mouth and what you have available to you. You know you don’t have to eat that pecan pie your Grandma Betty is trying to force you to eat. The best way to deal with this is to bring your own. Find a healthy recipe for your favorite dessert or appetizer and bring it with you to your party. Hosts always love it when you contribute something and that way you have something you know you can eat and not feel guilty about.
Get moving! Doing an intense workout before you head out to Thanksgiving dinner is a great way to balance out all of that eating an inactivity you are just about to do. Even if you are stuck sleeping in Aunt Jane’s basement with no access to a gym you can get a good workout in. Believe me, it will make you feel better!
Eat Breakfast: Many people think that if you don’t eat all day and save up all of your calories for dinner this will some how balance. But this is not the answer! lol Eat a breakfast that is high in protein and fiber, like an egg omelet with veggies and a side of berries.
Choose small plates: Instead of grabbing a large plate and filling it up with everything on the table, take a smaller plate and fill it up one plate a time. First with your veggies and then your lean protein and then your starches. By the time you get to your starches you will be full from your veggies and protein. Eating on a smaller plate tends to help you with eating smaller portions.
Eat Mindfully: Don’t eat foods you don’t like just because your aunt is making you feel guilty you are not trying her famous food. When eating really enjoy what you are eating, take your time to really taste the flavors.
Find another way to reduce stress: The holidays are stressful and emotional and when you are stressed out most people are stressed they emotionally eat. Think of other activities you can do to reduce stress and help to keep you out of the kitchen.
Skip the seconds: Enjoy what you are eating the first time and stay away form the seconds. Usually when you are going for seconds you are already full and not really enjoying the second round.
Go easy on the alcohol: Alcohol adds many additional calories to your meal and if you want to really enjoy the foods you are eating try and minimize the alcohol consumption. Also fill up on water and drink throughout the day and the next day to help beat the bloat.
Heathy Food Swaps for Thanksgiving
Instead of Dark Turkey Meat swap for white meat
You will save 50 calories and 2 grams of fat
Instead of 1 cup traditional mashed eat 1 cup lighted mashed potatoes made with 2% Milk, nonfat plain greek yogurt and 3 TBSP butter
Save 108 calories and 12 grams fat
Instead of 1/4 cup of gravy and eat 1/4 cup prepared low-sodium gravy mix
Save 106 calories and 8g fat
Instead classic sweet potato casserole with marshmallows for a baked sweet potato topped with 1 tsp brown sugar and 1 tsp chopped pecans
Save 420 calories 66 grams sugar and 7 grams of fat
Instead of green bean casserole for sautéed green beans topped with 1 tablespoon of fried onions
Save 144 calories and 9grams of fat
Instead of traditional stuffing try a lighter recipe made with fat free buttermilk and less butter.
Save 100 calories and 11 grams of fat
Instead of canned cranberry sauce for cranberry relish
Save 40 calories and 14 grams of sugar
Instead of Pecan Pie eat Pumpkin Pie
Save 540 calories a slice, 27 grams of sugar, 16 grams of fat
Instead of a slice of apple pie eat 1 baked apple topped with 1 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tsp butter, 1 tsp cinnamon and top with 1 tbsp whipped cream.
Save 448 calories, 57 grams of sugar, and 19 grams of fat
Instead eggnog for apple cider
Save 100 calories and 11grams of fat
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