We all look forward to the Thanksgiving feast and all the joys the occasion brings. Between the cranberry sauce, the turkey (and in some cases, the turducken), mashed potatoes with loads of butter, and decadent pies and cakes, one of the most celebrated holidays of the year cannot be welcomed more than an amazing Thanksgiving spread.
With this being the reality, where does it leave you? Although there are perfectly good reasons to overeat, this obviously not great for your health. Just think of all the calories and unhealthy fats that get into your body once you lose control. Overindulgence and alcohol consumption can also be a risk for people who already have diabetes, hypertension, or heart disease. For these reasons, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reminds us to eat healthy and be active during the season.
Keeping your health in check doesn’t mean you can’t participate in the holiday feast and enjoy it. Here are some ways to keep yourself happy and healthy during this well-loved holiday tradition:
1. Learn the art of letting go when dining.
When it comes to eating and being before a lot of food, sticking to your guns can be tough, but with a solid plan in place, you just might make it. Start off with giving up certain items. For example, if you want to enjoy a slice of pecan pie, give up having a glass or two of the wine. Likewise, if you love some alcohol to go with your cheese platter, maybe having a slice of cheesecake won’t do you any favor.
2. Eat breakfast on Thanksgiving Day.
Think skipping breakfast will you the freedom to eat all you want come dinnertime? Big mistake. This will only make you feel tired and bloated. Instead, eat well and properly throughout the day, starting with a really good breakfast that has protein and fiber. Also, drink water all day. Go as high as three liters if you can, especially if alcoholic beverages or desserts will be present in your Thanksgiving dinner.
3. Dress up in your formal best.
Instead of wearing baggy clothes to accommodate more food or to fool yourself into thinking you can eat more, wear your best body-hugging formal dresses and pants. Show up in your best clothes, the kind that makes you want to walk around and mingle. And no matter what do not unzip your clothes! Eat just enough to keep you comfortable for the rest of the night.
4. Say no.
Are the dessert trays making the rounds? You don’t have to say yes to all. Have a taste of one or two of the best desserts available and stop there. Also, a good technique is always having a glass of water in one hand. It leaves one of your hands available to shake hands with people at the dinner, but not enough for you to hold a plate and fork or hold on to a big amount of finger food as you go around the place.
5. Replace ingredients.
Preparing the Thanksgiving feast? Search for weight-friendly recipes. For example, if you’re making a pie, you can decrease the amount of sugar and use a thinner crust. Use fat-free or skim milk for your pie and mashed potatoes.
You can live up to the true spirit of Thanksgiving without overindulging. Be grateful. Be grateful for your life and the body that you have. Be grateful for your family and friends. Remember, the best expression of gratitude is taking care of all these gifts, most especially the gift of health, because a healthy body is what every person needs in order to thrive!