How to indulge on turkey day without harming your health*

What you eat on Thanksgiving won’t determine your health, but here are a few tips to help make the day healthier.

As we approach the holiday season, it’s important to try to maintain a healthy lifestyle while still enjoying the time spent celebrating with friends and family. Getting through the upcoming two-month span of festivities and irresistible food seems daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. 

Let’s face it: staying consistent with a healthy lifestyle is a challenge on most days of the year, but Thanksgiving is one of the most indulgent holidays out there. During Thanksgiving, many people splurge and tend to overeat, and to be fair, we’re all guilty of it! While it’s important to indulge and enjoy yourself, there are some key tips and tricks to ensure you stay on track with your health and wellness goals.

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Make sure to eat breakfast

Breakfast has been deemed as “the most important meal of the day”, and for good reason! Eating breakfast is regularly associated with improved overall health and wellbeing, healthier body weight, and an improved diet.  

If you start your day with a nutritious meal, you’re less likely to overeat throughout the day. Although it may seem fun to see how many calories you can consume in one sitting, showing up to Thanksgiving dinner after fasting all day isn’t a great idea. Eat small and balanced meals throughout the day to avoid excessive eating. 

Get active

Getting a good sweat session in before the big meal can help curb your calorie count. Schedule your workouts around the festivities, menu planning, and holiday chaos. Even a quick 20-minute workout can help boost your metabolism. Check to see if your community has a local turkey trot race you can join and start a new family tradition! If you already have a workout routine going, make a special effort to stick to it throughout the holiday season. Consistency is key.

Create healthier recipes

Whether you’re the host or going to someone’s home for the get together, you can still make Thanksgiving classics by using alternative and creative recipes. When Thanksgiving demands green bean casserole, try this green beans and mushrooms with crispy shallots recipe. Another trick is to use fat-free chicken broth to baste the turkey and make gravy. You still get the same flavors with guilt-free results. 

When it comes to dessert, keep it light and choose a recipe that uses fresh fruit as a  base. Try this fun take on an apple crisp which will have everyone going for seconds. This spiralized apple crumble recipe has less sugar, fat, and calories.

Graph with photos that give tips on how to stay healthy.

Be mindful of where your calories are coming from

It’s tempting to sip on that holiday mulled cider or another seasonal beverage but if you’re looking to cut back on unnecessary calories it’s best to limit the number of sugary drinks you consume. A study published in the March 2015 issue of Current Obesity Reports found that when alcohol consumption goes up, the discipline to make smart dietary choices goes down. This means it’s easier to indulge in high-fat, sugary foods while sipping on that second rum and soda.

Enjoy the time with your loved ones

The holidays are a special time to be spent with your friends and family where you can create timeless memories and traditions, so make sure you don’t spend them overthinking about food. Load your plate up with veggies, stay consistent with your workout routine, and continue to make better choices when it comes to your health. 

And above all, have a Happy Thanksgiving. It’s a time to celebrate the harvest and other blessings with the people you love most!

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*The information in this article is not intended to be medical advice. It is your responsibility to seek guidance from a doctor regarding your particular medical situation.

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