Thanksgiving is an eating holiday, and a wonderful one at that. So how does one have a healthy Thanksgiving amidst the gluttony of food and family? With these amazing tips of course! If you are generally healthy and watch what you eat, then Thanksgiving can be kryptonite. It can kick you off your healthy path, causing an uncontrollable death spiral lasting through the New Year. Having been there in years past, I learned it’s not worth it! It’s time to stick by eating healthy on Thanksgiving with these helpful tips.
The first and most important tip for a healthy holiday is to evaluate what food you can’t live without. Thanksgiving shows up every year with more amazing and wonderful foods than anyone can possibly eat. It’s difficult not to have seconds and thirds, trying a piece of everything imaginable. How does one not eat a whole plate of mashed potatoes and stuffing? What about all of those desserts? Decide what dishes you can’t live without, and eat those first. For a long time I lived for sweet potato casserole, but this year I can’t live without some stuffing and mashed potatoes. They are hitting my plate first!
Once you’ve picked out the items you need to eat first, it’s time to fill your plate. My second tip is to take HALF as much food as your eyes desire. There will be a ton of food, plenty to fill a second plate, so take less the first time. Our eyes are always bigger than our stomachs, so fill your stomach up with those foods you can’t live without. Then see if you actually want more. Most Americans eat around 4,500 calories during Thanksgiving. That is just too much kids! Too much! Serving yourself less food will help you cut out extra calories while still enjoying the tasty dishes.
My third tip is to indulge in vegetables. Thanksgiving has the best veggie dishes, with so many varied options to pick from. I love the different styles people make, whether it’s cauliflower, broccoli, or green beans. Load up on those bad boys, especially if they’re roasted and not overly seasoned. They can fill out your plate, along with turkey and any foods from above.
My next tip is simple, but important. Assess the bread options, because breads add a lot of empty calories. If someone has made homemade bread or biscuits, then dive in and have yourself a single serving. But if the bread is store bought, it’s not worth eating those calories. There are too many other amazing foods to eat, plus dessert is still around the corner. Skip the bread if it’s not homemade.
It’s time to enjoy your meal, which brings me to my fifth tip. Don’t shovel the food all in. Instead take in your surroundings and eat slowly. Chat with your family and friends. Savor the meal and enjoy all that is on your plate. Eating slower lets your body digest, stopping you from eating more when you’re already full. It also makes it easier to save room for dessert.
When it comes to dessert I’m always super picky about what I need/want to eat. Our final tip presents this dilemma. Ask yourself whether you really want that piece of pie. Are you still hungry? Will it taste as good as you think? Let’s face it, most of the time we don’t need any dessert. So if you find yourself feeling full, but craving a taste, find a friend to share. I always have a small sliver of pumpkin pie, or share a full slice with my man. Sometimes I take slivers of multiple desserts, or just pick off his plate. This way you can try a bunch of different things and still feel good about what you’ve eaten.
The best part about eating healthy on Thanksgiving is that you don’t feel gross afterwards! This year let yourself enjoy your meal without crashing or overeating. Use my fail proof tips to a healthy Thanksgiving and avoid an OD. Keeping healthy during the holidays will keep your goals on track and make your new year amazing!
Mandi Mellen is Lead Editor, Staff Writer, and Featured Vlogger at BuzzChomp. She’s an actress, writer, and producer. Get lost in her youtube comedy channel PillowTalk TV. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or Instagram
Photo credits to www.hautemess.com