Last Minute Thanksgiving Tips to Help You Stay on Track

With Thanksgiving days away, the stress is on! Whether you are cooking or going somewhere, it is still a stressful time. One thing you do not want to stress about is what you are putting in your body.  You have been trying to eat healthy and you can't let one day ruin all of the time and effort you have put into yourself. Yes, one day, especially Thanksgiving Day, can ruin all the good you have been doing. How you ask? Raine (2012) states, "In a typical Thanksgiving meal, Americans will consume more than 1,600 calories; assuming only one serving size of each dish is devoured." That is IF you eat one serving. How many years have you gone for seconds or thirds? That means you have consumed 3,200 or 4,800 calories! You can still have the glorious food that Thanksgiving brings, without tripling your caloric intake for the day. 

When putting food on your plate, think about the serving size:
Turkey: One serving size is 3 oz. or about the size of your fist.
Stuffing or Mashed Potatoes: 1/2 cup
Gravy or Cranberry Sauce: 1/4 cup

More tips to avoid overeating:

  • Do Not Skip Meals and Snacks the Day of Thanksgiving - Don't think because you haven't eaten anything all day that you're saving calories. Starving yourself until the big meal will lead to overeating.  Keep yourself satisfied throughout the day so you won't feel the need to gorge yourself. Eat a good breakfast with protein and fiber. Then depending on what time the main meal is, have a snack or light lunch about 3 hours after breakfast.
  • Think About Appetizers and Drinks - Appetizers and drinks are an easy way to add on the calories.  Have one appetizer and move on. Stay away from the sugary drinks as well as the alcoholic drinks.  Have one alcoholic drink and move on to water, tea or coffee. Alcoholic drinks can reduce your intentions of eating mindfully and can increase your appetite.  Stick with water and add a splash of cranberry juice or use a lemon or lime!
  • Eat a Plate and Wait - When you fill up your plate, fill smart! Focus on veggies.  While you eat take pauses, enjoy the delicious food.  Drink water in between bites.  Then wait. It takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that you are full. 
  • Walk and Talk - Lastly, grab a group of people, the dogs, and whoever else may want to join, and go for a nice walk before or after your meal.  20-30 minutes is all you need to get moving. 

Quick things to remember when you're eating:

  • Don't eat the skin of the turkey
  • Go for the white meat of the turkey
  • Either do not eat the roll or do a whole wheat roll instead
  • Make fresh cranberry sauce instead of buying the loaded sugary sauce. The homemade cranberry sauce tastes great!
  • Don't forget about fruit. Fruits make GREAT dessert.

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