The Halloween candy has already come (but probably not gone), and now Thanksgiving is just around the corner. The holiday season is often hard on exercise routines and healthy eating, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are a few tips on how to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner without overdoing it on the fat and carbs.
This might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but starting with soup or salad is one of the best ways to make sure you don’t eat too quickly, which will help you not overeat. This also means that a good portion of your meal will be vegetables from the very beginning.
Eat more veggies.
Thanksgiving dinners are often abundant in leafy greens and other vegetables. Try filling up half of your plate with veggies and stick to the ones that are low in starches. Corn and potatoes are common side dishes at Thanksgiving, but they are starches and high in calories. Limit servings of these vegetables, and add more Brussels sprouts, spinach, and green beans to your plate instead.
Know which parts of turkey to eat.
Turkey can be an excellent low-calorie source of protein if you know which parts to eat. Some pieces of turkey meat are better for you than others. Stick to white meat without skin to avoid extra fat. Also, consider skipping out on the gravy to reduce your intake of unhealthy fats that contribute to problems like heart disease.
You can even eat a little more than the recommended serving size on Thanksgiving day, because many nutritionists agree that increasing protein is a good way to stay full, helping you avoid snacking on the less healthy parts of Thanksgiving dinner.
Pick and choose your sides.
Everyone has a favorite side that they just can’t resist at Thanksgiving. Aiming for a healthier Thanksgiving dinner doesn’t mean you can’t partake in your favorite sides, but it does mean that you should try to keep your portions small and only add your favorite sides to your plate. Don’t feel like you have to take some of everything just because it’s there.
Keep dessert light.
Dinner is over, and you’re thinking about how you can’t possibly eat another bite. But then the pies and cakes and cookies are brought out, and suddenly you’re reaching for one of each. This is tempting, but you’ll regret loading up on the calories and sugar later on. Limit yourself to one piece of pie.
If you’re in charge of the dessert this year, try to reduce the variety of dessert that is offered. The fewer choices people have, the more likely they are to not go crazy with the sweets.
Like Thanksgiving dinner, a lot of these tips are better when shared. Get the whole family in on looking for ways to make Thanksgiving dinner healthier. You’ll be able to enjoy the meal and feel better afterward.