Healthy Thanksgiving Eating Tips

Turkey Day is almost upon us and if you’re anything like me you eat WAY too much. I usually give myself a free card on the holidays and stuff my face with abandon—only to regret it once the icky food hangover kicks in (think bloating and a general feeling of blah). And even then I usually end up having another piece of pie. It’s a vicious cycle. But not this year. This year I’ve got some handy tricks to keep me from non-stop noshing. Here they are…

Don’t arrive starving – Going into Thanksgiving on an empty stomach can backfire big time. Feeling ravenous can prompt you to eat more than normal. Start your day with a satisfying breakfast instead.

Stay calm – Does your mother-in-law drive you crazy? Or maybe the mass confusion of the day throws you off. Rather than stuffing your face with stuffing (hello emotional eating!) take a couple deep breaths and repeat after me: I love my family, quirks and all.

Avoid lingering around the table – A Georgia State University study found that people consume 44 percent more when they dine with others than when they eat alone, partly because they spend more time at the table. So get up. Go do something. When the food is just there staring at you it’s hard to resist.

Balance your plate to eat less – Instead of just mindlessly piling on the mashed potatoes, a little strategy can go a long way (and save you some serious calories). Make a conscious effort to balance your plate with plenty of fruits and veggies, and a healthy portion of protein (about three to four ounces). Fruits and veggies are lower on the calorie-density scale which can help keep you from over-eating. Psst: Eating an apple before a meal can reduce calorie intake by 190 calories.

Hold tea or water – Keeping your hands busy can keep ’em away from bad-for-you munchies.

Don’t deny yourself – If you want that pumpkin pie, go ahead, have a little and move on. Restricting yourself can lead to binges and overeating.

Start a healthy Thanksgiving tradition – We’re in the Valley of the Sun for goodness sake, not like your cousins up north who have to endure windchills. So rather than stay indoors all day, why not start a new family tradition. I know broods who hike Camelback every Thanksgiving (yes, the whole fam damily) — or just go for a stroll around your hood.

Happy Thanksgiving!


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