Though Thanksgiving may feel like the beginning of a holiday season filled with too much food and inevitable weight gain, it doesn’t have to be! Follow these five tips to increase your enjoyment of the day and minimize food coma incidences.

1. Eat Breakfast

It may seem counterintuitive—who doesn’t want to save all of their calories for pumpkin pie?—but it’s best eat a small, satisfying breakfast on Thanksgiving morning so you aren’t starving by the time you have the main meal. Start the day right with some protein and whole grains to take the edge off. We’ve even got some ideas below that you can prep or prepare the day before so you aren’t adding to your cooking load on Thanksgiving Day.

2. Get Movin’

Burn off a few extra calories before you even sit down to the table on Thanksgiving Day. Numerous “Turkey Trot” races have cropped up across the country and are a great way to enjoy your community on Thanksgiving Day, but you can also walk or run your own Turkey Trot with no planning or entry fee required. All it takes is a pair of comfortable shoes, weather- and activity-appropriate clothing, and the initiative to get out the door. Don’t forget to take your family with you when you go!

5 Tips for a Healthier Thanksgiving3. Make Healthy Improvements to Your Menu

Take time now to look at your typical menu and investigate the possibility of making some items healthier by reducing the amount of fat, sugar, and salt included. Need help? A quick internet search of “healthy ______” is sure to reveal numerous options. Also consider substituting a few new items into the rotation from the options below or our Pinterest board.

4. Control Your Portions

Thanksgiving meals are full of family favorite recipes. Before you begin to fill your plate, survey the table and do a quick inventory. What items are your favorites? What items show up frequently outside of the holidays and might be skipped today? What items can you do without altogether? Then, as the dishes are passed, fill your plate with small portions and fight the urge to go back for second helpings. Remind yourself that there is no need to overeat; Thanksgiving leftovers are always good for several days.

5. Slow Down

Thanksgiving is about giving thanks and enjoying the company that surrounds us. So, eat slowly. Put your fork down between bites and truly savor the food that you look forward to each year. Engage those around you in conversation and refocus on how much you have to be thankful for, beyond just the food on your plate.

 

Recipe Ideas

Breakfasts

Sides

Desserts

Photo Credit: timsackton via Compfight cc