12 Eating Tips for a Healthy Thanksgiving
There's no doubt Thanksgiving is one of the biggest food holidays in the U.S. And just like that, multiple plates and thousands of calories have been consumed... But with these healthy Thanksgiving tips, enjoy the holiday without the worry of overdoing it this year!
There is no doubt Thanksgiving is one of the biggest, if not the largest, food holidays in the U.S. From the carved turkey to the mashed potatoes, food is plentiful and you may start eating with your eyes. And within a blink, multiple plates and thousands of calories have been consumed... But with these healthy Thanksgiving tips, enjoy the holiday without the worry of overdoing it this year!
12 Healthy Thanksgiving Tips
1. Get Enough Sleep
Though sleep is an indirect healthy Thanksgiving eating tip, its importance should not be slept on. Sleeping the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep each night not only boosts your mood and energy levels, but can keep appetite at ease.
2. Start with A Healthy Breakfast
Rather than trying to skip meals on Thanksgiving to save up on calories, start the day with a healthy breakfast. A high-protein morning meal can reduce the risk of overeating during the Thanksgiving main course by regulating hunger levels.
3. Ease Up On Appetizers
Yes, appetizers are tempting and may tie you over until the Thanksgiving feast. However, filling up on them warrants great risk of overdoing calorie load even before the main course arrives. If you are to go for the appetizers, be choosey and select the couple you truly desire and ease up on the others.
4. Plate Appropriately
Just because holidays can still be enjoyed, does not mean healthy plating etiquette should be thrown completely out the window. Continue plating your meal appropriately throughout the holidays, including filling at least half of the plate with veggies, one quarter with white turkey meat, and the rest with a healthy starch such as corn on the cob, sweet potatoes, or a sprouted roll.
5. Go for Small Servings
Ask for or serve yourself small portions to start with. Doing so allows you to explore and enjoy variable foods without great risk of overeating. Sticking to smaller servings also allows you to relish on dessert favorites with lesser guilt.
6. Eat Slowly
Did you know it takes approximately 20 minutes the mind and stomach to register the "I'm full" feeling? So rather than scarfing down the plate and heading for seconds, allow your body that time to feel full. Chew slowly, savor each bite, and really appreciate those special dishes because really, the first bite tastes the same as the last.
7. Question Seconds
Truly question whether or not that second helping is needed or worth it. Eating slowly, allowing time between the next plate, and sipping on water can help gauge hunger levels and help validate a second helping.
8. Buffet-Style It
If hosting Thanksgiving, one trick to help slow overeating at your holiday party is to try for buffet serving rather than putting all the food on the dining table. In fact, this is a tip that can be used throughout the year's entirety, as research shows if food is within an arm's reach, more will be eaten. And if you and your guests have to get up to grab seconds, less food will likely be consumed overall.
9. Stay Hydrated
Since hunger is oftentimes mistaken for thirst, hydration is key in overeating prevention. Stay well-hydrated throughout the holidays by consuming at least eight, 8-ounce glasses of water daily.
10. Watch Out for Liquid Calories
Though staying hydrated with water naturally cuts out calories, watch out for liquid calories from sodas and other soft drinks. Also be cautious of alcoholic beverages, as one too many can lead to a myriad of consequences... To save yourself from countless calories, humiliation, and an unpleasant morning after from alcohol, stick to one or two servings if you do choose to drink.
11. Healthify Recipes
Especially if hosting that Thanksgiving feast, healthify your recipes by reducing the amount of fat, sugar, and salt in recipes, along with using more whole foods when possible. And if asked to bring a side dish or dessert, take the opportunity to create a more nutritious item. (You never know, others may also be extremely appreciative of having a healthy dish to choose from!)
12. Carry On
Feelings of regret and disappointment can ultimately transpire into throwing in the towel completely so if you overindulged more than planned, do not dwell over it. Simply pick up the pieces and carry on, saddling back on the horse and racing once again towards your health goals!