BistroMD Health Library

Get excited about reading again with fun and interesting tips from our experts, including The M.D., our dietitians, and our fitness expert. In our health library, you will find all of the information you need to achieve your goals of making a healthy lifestyle change. So, start reading and start losing!

Seasonal Diet Tips

Explore our expert knowledge on topics such as healthy eating during the holidays, and how to live into a happier and healthier you in the New Year. Discover tips and tricks on how to avoid weight gain at holiday parties and while on vacation.

Thanksgiving Survival Guide

While most individuals anticipate all the tasty food Thanksgiving has to offer, you feel anxious and worried to fall off the horse. Getting through Thanksgiving is easier than ever with this Thanksgiving survival guide. The excitement of the fall holiday can still exist along with your health goals!


With all the efforts you have made over the past year, weight is coming off! While most individuals anticipate all the tasty food Thanksgiving has to offer, you feel anxious and worried to fall off the horse. But with this Thanksgiving survival guide, the excitement of the fall holiday can still exist (along with your weight loss and health goals)!

BistroMD's Thanksgiving Survival Guide

Leading Up to The Main Event

Though individuals tend to believe "slip-ups" occur during the Thanksgiving meal, tips leading up the main event can further foster a healthy Thanksgiving.

Eat Breakfast

This suggestion cannot be stressed enough to survive Thanksgiving. Eating a well-balanced breakfast can ultimately reduce the risk of overeating during the main meal. Healthy breakfast ideas include Greek yogurt and fruit, eggs and whole-wheat toast, and oats and peanut butter. And if not a big breakfast eater, a glass of milk can even suffice!

Survival Cooking Techniques

Skip out on the fryer and cooking oils this year! Survival cooking techniques not only reduces unnecessary calories from fat, but still provides rich food flavors. Prepare and cook healthier meals by baking, broiling, sautéing, and roasting. Skip the saltshaker and lessen sodium content by utilizing fresh or dried herbs and spices. Boost flavor and cut calories with a more detailed guide to survival cooking techniques here.

Healthy Thanksgiving Recipe Ideas

Unlike popular belief, healthy Thanksgiving recipes do exist! In conjunction with the survival cooking techniques identified above, utilize the following recipe ideas for a flavorful, yet healthful Thanksgiving holiday: roasted turkey, mashed potatoes with Greek yogurt, this healthified green bean casserole and sweet potato casserole, and a healthier apple pie! Find additional healthy Thanksgiving menu items here. The options are endless! Let us help you decide by taking this quiz to find the perfect recipe for your Thanksgiving.

The Main Event: Have Your Turkey and Eat It, Too!

After prepping all the delicious food, it is time to eat! And though you may be eager to start loading up a large plate with monstrous potions, fight the temptations by:

Using Smaller Plates

Using smaller plates can help keep portion sizes in check. And when reaching for a meal plate, try to find the smallest in size. If plate sizes are large and unvaried, try to keep portions balanced by utilizing the plate's center and loading up on offered veggies followed by proteins then starches.

Eating Slowly

Instead of scarfing down your plated Thanksgiving meal, take the time to eat slowly and enjoy the flavors. Slow down eating by chewing foods thoroughly, taking smaller bites, and placing utensils down between mouthfuls.

Listening to Hunger and Satiety Cues

Eating slowly also allows the mind and stomach to connect and trigger feelings of fullness. Before jumping to a second helping, pay attention to hunger cues by allowing your food to set at least 10 minutes. If still feeling hungry after the allotted time has past, make a smaller plate and follow the tips identified above.

Saying "No" to Foods

Have some sort of mental game plan determining which foods you absolutely must have during this annual holiday. It is okay to not take all offered foods, especially considering how many show up to the main event! Enjoy your favorite foods and leave out others you are not too anxious about to save on unwanted calories.

Surviving the Aftermath

Whether you indulged in three heaping scoops of mashed potatoes or two slices of pumpkin pie, moving forward in a healthful way is another vital piece for Thanksgiving survival. First off, shake off feelings of guilt if you are experiencing them. Giving those thoughts your undivided attention can spiralize emotional eating, which may compromise both physical and mental health in the longer run. Instead, jump back on the horse and continue to ride through your weight loss journey. Tackling a workout or eating a healthful breakfast the following morning can be simple ways to reframe your mindset.

But we cannot skip one of the greatest pieces following Thanksgiving: all those tasty leftovers! When storing leftovers, use individual containers to promote proper serving sizes. For instance, portion out a couple slices of turkey, a small scoop of potatoes, and a heaping scoop (or two) of the fall-inspired roasted veggies. To completely transform dishes (and in a healthful fashion, too!) check out these easy ways to turn Thanksgiving leftovers into healthy meals!

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