Thanksgiving is a great opportunity for spending time with family and friends, and invariably that means eating. The highpoint of the holidays is usually Thanksgiving dinner, but there will probably be a lot of food around for days before and after the celebratory meal itself.
Does Thanksgiving normally end with you in a food-induced coma?
Don’t let a single holiday weekend derail your weight for the rest of the year; use these six tips to enjoy Thanksgiving without gaining weight.
There is no need to turn your Thanksgiving dinner into a diet meal. After all, it’s supposed to be a holiday and a celebration. But, it doesn’t have to turn into a binge either! Use these tips and my healthy Thanksgiving recipes (all shared here) to make sure you have a happy AND a healthy holiday weekend.
1) Have breakfast
Knowing you are going to eat a big meal later in the day may make you think that skipping breakfast is a good way to save calories. While this does make a sort of sense, it’s a strategy that will soon backfire!
Instead of saving you calories, skipping breakfast will cause you to overeat when mealtime comes around because, after missing your first meal of the day, you will be more hungry than usual.
Avoid this problem by having a substantial breakfast, and you’ll experience less hunger and eat less later in the day.
2) Fill up on soup and salad
Soup and salad starters are filling, but contain relatively few calories. Make the most of this by having a big portion as your appetizer. That way, when the main meal arrives, you’ll already be fairly full, and will be less inclined to chow down on lots of fattening main dishes. Don’t sabotage this strategy by eating lots of bread or crackers – just have the soup or salad unaccompanied.
3) Drink water during your meal
Water is calorie-free and filling. Drinking water before and during your Thanksgiving meal will fill you up, reduce your appetite, and stop you from overeating. Make sure you start drinking water 1-2 hours before you are due to start eating and then sip constantly throughout your meal. Drinking water instead of wine or beer will also save you lots of calories.
4) Skinless turkey breast and veggies please!
Of all the foods on offer on Thanksgiving Day, skinless turkey breast and veggies are arguably the lowest in calories, and the most filling. Make sure you make these two food items the cornerstone of your meal. The protein in the turkey and the fiber in the veggies will satisfy your appetite without consuming a lot of calories. If you are tempted to have a second serving, make sure you reach for the low-calorie vegetables, as they are the least likely to lead to weight gain. Avoid high-fat sauces that will add a lot of calories to even vegetable dishes.
5) Go easy on the side dishes
Thanksgiving side dishes like cornbread, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce are very high in calories. While you don’t have to avoid these foods entirely – it’s Thanksgiving after all – don’t go overboard and eat too much of these high calorie delicacies. If you want to have second portions of anything, fill up on white turkey meat and green veggies. Also, don’t overindulge when it’s time for dessert. Just a small portion will satisfy your sweet tooth.
6) Walk it off
Once your meal is finished, and the washing up is done, don’t fall asleep on the sofa in a food-induced coma. Instead, get up, head out, and go for a walk. Walking is gentle enough you can do it soon after a meal, but active enough that it will use those extra calories. Make it a family affair and take your relatives and friends with you.
Thanksviging Easy Recipes
Recipes with 7 or fewer ingredients. Vegetarian ideas, recipes for two and much more. My favorite recipes all organized here. Enjoy