If you haven’t heard already, there’s a pretty big holiday coming up soon: Thanksgiving. In a time of reminiscing and gathering of friends, family, and loved ones, the main star on this day is the food. With an assortment of people and traditions, there’s always an abundance of dishes available to consume. However, how can we distinguish what’s healthy and will benefit our health? There are a few tips we all can follow without sacrificing our appetites.
Studies have shown that people gain on average, between 5-10 pounds during the holiday season (from Thanksgiving to New Year’s). WOW!!! While just averages, this can mean that people gain less than this range, or in the unfortunate instance, gain more. It’s important during the holidays, especially Thanksgiving, to be proactive in maintaining your health and keeping the extra pounds off, so you may have an easier time with your upcoming New Year’s Resolutions. WebMD has offered a few tips that won’t impede satisfaction of the yummy holiday feasts.
- Get active
- Exercise before eating your favorite foods
- Increase the number of days, and length of workouts before Thanksgiving
- Plan a post-meal walk and/or workout the following day
- Eat breakfast
- Eating a small meal in the morning can give you better control over your appetite
- More disciplined appetite makes for healthier food and beverage choices
- Lighten up
- Whether preparing the meals, or bringing add-ons, try and make your dishes with less sugar, no added fat, and less calories.
- Use sugar substitutes, and reduce oil/butter when you can
- Police your proteins
- Survey the options and select reasonable sized portions
- Smaller portions allow you to enjoy whatever you’d like
- Resist the urge for second helpings
- Stop eating when you’re satisfied. If you wait til your full, it might be too late 😉
- Slowly savor
- Eating slowly allows you to taste every bite while being satisfied after one plate
- Try eating only two meals on holidays and keep them within 8 hours of each other. So perhaps skip breakfast if you expect to eat a big lunch or dinner. This style of eating is called Intermittent Fasting and has been very helpful in weight loss/weight maintenance.
- Go easy on alcohol
- Have a glass of wine or sparkling water in between alcoholic drinks to avoid dehydration and the calories that alcohol provide
- Be realistic
- During the holiday times, it’s very difficult to try and lose weight, therefore shifting focus to maintaining weight provides more desirable outcomes.
If you’re looking for which foods to include in your Thanksgiving menu you can turn to the Mayo Clinic and/or EatingWell for an assist. They provide countless recipes that are not only fresh, but contain less fat, sodium, and calories to provide guests with healthy options that are equally flavorful. If you have a particular diet or health plan that you’re on, reach out to your R-Health doctor for any meal suggestions. Otherwise, enjoy the holiday and celebrate this time with your family and friends!