6 Tips for a Healthier Thanksgiving

Photo by Andrik Langfield

It's the week of Thanksgiving and families are gearing up for the heavy holiday meal. Trying to stay healthy on this food-centered holiday is stressful and exhausting. But, you can do it! Follow our six tips to staying in control of your diet this Thanksgiving.

Start with Breakfast

On Thanksgiving, many choose to skip breakfast or have something light to "save room for later." If you are trying to stay healthy this holiday, you should start your morning with a full meal. Doing so will curb your appetite so that you can have a better sense of self-control later during dinner and dessert.

Bring a Dish-to-Pass

Most Thanksgiving dinner tables consist of foods high in saturated fats, refined sugars and carbohydrates. If you are watching your calories, it can be a nightmare. Try to bring a healthy substitute for the food you are trying to stay away from. Instead of eating creamy mashed potatoes with butter, bring mashed sweet potatoes to share.

Stay Away from Temptation

Avoid sitting near foods or drinks that will alter your diet. If temptation is more accessible to you, it's harder to say no. If alcohol is your weakness, don't have any or ask your host to only pour one glass for you. Position yourself so that it would be a task to get to the bad stuff.

Binge on Veggies

It's common to binge eat on Thanksgiving and end up with a stomach ache, or on the couch watching football. Instead of binging on bread, stuffing and turkey, try to eat more green beans and squash. Look at your plate. Is there more meat and starch than vegetables? You should fill your plate with half veggies, ¼ meat and ¼ starch.

It's Okay to Say No

Once you're finished with your first plate, it's normal to go back for more. But just because it's normal doesn't mean it is the right choice for your health. Have only one plate on Thanksgiving. Hosts often ask if you want more and will offer to make you a plate. Declining politely is okay. Explain that you are full, but if the situation changes, you may try some later. It isn't rude to break the norm and take care of yourself.

Stay Positive

If you give in to temptation and eat too many plates of food, guess what? It's not the end of the world! It doesn't undo all the hard work you put in before that. Keep a positive mindset. Don't let one meal ruin your wellness. On Black Friday, stay away from leftovers and resume your healthy eating habits.

You can accomplish anything you put your mind to. Stay dedicated to yourself. Practice self-love. Be kind to your body. Think about what your body provides for you and pay it back sticking to a healthy diet. Follow these tips and find support in your friends and family this holiday to encourage you to keep your health in focus.