Thanksgiving comes with a strong urge to splurge. However, with this surefire Thanksgiving survival guide, you can satisfy your craving for traditional favorites through guilt-free Thanksgiving feasting.
11 Tips to a Healthier Thanksgiving | Thanksgiving Survival Guide
1. Be Thankful
This is what the holiday is about, after all. Take time to look around and be grateful for everything you have from family, friends, life, good health, and even the food before you.
Being thankful is a great way of showing people that you love and appreciate them, which is the core of life itself.
Such mindfulness will help you slow down throughout the day and be watchful of what you eat and your portions.
2. Have a Healthy Thanksgiving Menu
Of course, this is easy if you are the one hosting the thanksgiving party. But what if you are not? In this case, your best chance would be to offer to bring some food to the party.
For instance, you might ask your host what they are planning on making, after which you can discreetly offer to bring healthy versions of the food you might perceive to be unhealthy.
- Keep in mind that you don’t have to let your host know that you are making healthier swaps for some of the unhealthy foods they are making
- Also, heavy food doesn’t have to be bland
3. Stay Active
You should forego your daily exercise just because it is a holiday. Think of it this way; Thanksgiving should fit into your daily schedule instead of trying to fit your life into the thanksgiving schedule.
This way, you will plan, which allows you to sneak in a run when your kids are occupied or take an online workout session as food is cooking or roasting.
Besides keeping fit, it also offers excellent stress relief. What’s more, by sticking to your daily schedule, you stay in tune with your dietary needs, which means you will not be at risk of overindulging.
Workouts aside, make your thanksgiving holiday more fun by planning some outdoor activity that everyone can engage in. For instance, tug-of-war, soccer, or volleyball are great games to engage in.
4. Eat Prior
Going to a party hungry is the best way to overindulge, which you are trying to avoid this Thanksgiving. Sticking to your everyday eating behavior is, however, the best way to view the Thanksgiving meal as a regular meal instead of a feast.
If your Thanksgiving meal is during lunchtime, ensure you take a healthy breakfast as you would typically do. Similarly, have a light lunch or healthy snack if the meal is set for later in the day.
By doing this, you significantly reduce your chances of overindulging.
Tip: Whole grains, veggies, lean protein, and fruits will keep you relatively full throughout the day.
5. Be Selective
You don’t have to eat it all just because it is there or because it has been offered to you. Whether your meals are being passed around or served buffet-style, take time to survey what is available before you start filling your plate.
A little of everything doesn’t always translate to healthy eating; if anything, you are more likely to overeat this way. Instead, choose roughly three of your favorite meals and add healthy portions of each.
If you have trouble choosing, consider sticking to light starches, lean meats, and vegetables. Alternatively, splurge on dishes you don’t eat often and forego what you can easily get on other days.
6. Portion Your Plate
After settling on the dishes, you would like to consume, watching your portions is the next step to ensuring healthy. This is because watching your portions helps you develop restraint even when the food is readily available before your eyes.
It is also an excellent tactic for people who are looking to lose weight. To ensure you are taking the right portions, ensure that half your plate is filled with veggies, one quarter with lean protein like turkey and the other quarter with healthy starch baked potatoes, corn, and sweet potatoes.
7. Know Yourself
Knowing yourself is another great way of maintaining healthy eating habits during the holidays. By being self-aware, you know what your weak points are when it comes to healthy eating. Is it alcohol, dessert, or is it greasy fried food?
Whichever it is, consider coming up with a strategy to ensure that you stay within your healthy limits. For instance, if it is alcohol, you can set a limit to how many glasses you should have in one sitting. On the other hand, if you have a sweet tooth, offer to bring healthy desserts like a sorbet or have something waiting at home for you.
Note: Don’t be afraid to eat a piece of chocolate or two at a party if you can practice restraint.
8. Be Strategic
Maintaining healthy eating habits is hard enough on regular days, let alone on a Thanksgiving holiday when you are surrounded by all sorts of food and family members who are not bothered by healthy living.
Therefore, the last thing you need is to have the same food you are avoiding sitting right in your face.
For this reason, be strategic on where you choose to sit to avoid temptations as much as possible. Facing people, a fireplace or the dance floor is a great way to keep temptations at bay.
9. Pass On the Cocktails
Like with food, you do not have to consume all the alcohol at a Thanksgiving party. This does not mean that you should not drink, no.
However, liquid calories from alcoholic drinks add up fast due to the increased hunger caused by alcohol.
Besides watching your calories, passing on cocktails also saves you from awkward moments that often happen when people are intoxicated.
The last thing you want is to say or do something you’ll be embarrassed about and regret the following day.
Tip: Sipping on water or club soda as you drink alcohol will keep you hydrated and prevent overdrinking.
10. Don’t Take It Too Seriously
Rarely do people ever lose weight during the holidays, especially Thanksgiving. Therefore, don’t take eating healthy too seriously that you miss out on enjoying foods you love as you will only be left craving more.
To survive Thanksgiving, change your mindset from losing weight to maintaining it.
This way, you will better enjoy sharing meals with your loved ones. The goal is to indulge in moderation, and then you can resume your regular eating habits after the holiday.
11. Know That No One Is Watching
Don’t be afraid to turn down certain meals because you are afraid of insulting your host or feel like other people are watching. More often than not, nobody will notice, and neither will your host feel offended.
Play it down by saying something like, “No, thanks. Try me later.” and continue enjoying your healthy meals.
There you have it preppers. Holidays come with a lot of weight gain some of which most of us end up keeping permanently. However, with these foolproof tips, this year’s Thanksgiving doesn’t have to get in the way of your weight maintenance or lose goals.
What measures do you take during holidays to maintain healthy eating habits? Let us know in the comment section below!