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Healthy Thanksgiving Hints

Category : Active Living

Traditionally, Thanksgiving dinner goes hand-in-hand with a huge meal followed reclining (or napping) on the couch. Here are some Healthy Thanksgiving hints to help you enjoy the holiday without over-doing it!
1) Don’t starve yourself. Depriving yourself all day in anticipation of a big meal is not a good idea. Doing this just sets you up for a binge. You should definitely eat a healthy breakfast and depending upon when the big meal is being served you may need to eat a healthy snacks such as fruits or vegetables so that you aren’t ravenous by the time you sit down at the table.
2) Schedule the meal earlier in the day.  Having the big meal as early as possible is a good idea because it gives your body a chance to digest your food before bedtime.
3) Take very small portions. As you fill your plate, remember there are typically a lot more dishes on the table to choose from compared to your ordinary meal. With this in mind, take very small portions so you have room to “taste” everything.
4) Minimize the carb overload. Instead of preparing sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, stuffing and rolls choose only one or two of these dishes. If you are not in charge of planning the meal you can just elect to NOT put all of these carb laden foods on your plate…just pick your favorite. It will save a ton of calories and you’ll feel less ‘stuffed!’ (pun intended!)
5) Serve lots of vegetables. Offer two or three different types of vegetables at the table (and they don’t have to be heavy-duty casseroles…just simple steamed vegetables).
6) Drink water. Set out water glasses for everyone with dinner. Drink a glass of water immediately before you eat.
7) Drink alcohol only in moderation. Remember that alcohol has a lot of empty calories and also lowers your inhibitions so you may throw caution to the wind and eat more than you intended.
 Plan Some Thanksgiving Activities
As always, saying, “I’ll do it if I have time” doesn’t cut it. PLAN when you will exercise and what you will do. A workout will actually make you feel better and help to suppress your appetite so you’re less likely to overeat.  Remember that a little extra activity gets you away from the food, but it does not give you a license to eat an extra piece of pie.
  • First thing in the morning. Sneaking in your workout even if it is only 10 minutes will give you energy for the whole day.
  • Participate in a Turkey Trot. A lot of communities have running/walking events on Thanksgiving Day. In Green Bay, the Festival Foods Turkey Trot begins Thursday at 8:00 am. It’s a great family tradition!
  • Get outdoors. Inspiring even half of the guests to go out for some fresh air will break up the day: walk, play catch or shoot some hoops. Staying inside with your relatives ALL day is not recommended!
  • Indoor ideas: Break out the Wii (no sitting while playing Wii is the rule at our house), play ping pong or pull out the Holiday decorations and have the family help get your house looking festive.
Enjoy your family, friends and food (in that order) and you will feel great!
Have a Healthy, Happy Thanksgiving!