Enjoy the Holiday Without Undoing Your Progress
While most Americans look forward to Thanksgiving as a holiday for great food and family time, those who have been working towards their personal weight loss goals look towards Thanksgiving with trepidation. You don’t have to lose sight of the goals you’ve been working towards during the holiday. Keep these tips in mind when you prepare for your big meal.
Go for a walk
Due to the closures of many major businesses, you may not be able to go to the gym on Thanksgiving morning. To supplement some exercise go for a walk before or after (or both, if you can manage it) the big meal. Getting your blood pumping and body moving will not only burn some calories, but help promote digestion. Make it a family affair and go with the whole family.
A lot of people think they need to save their calories and decide to skip breakfast, but this is not the best idea. Not eating will make you go to the meal hungrier, and you will as a result eat larger portions, go back for seconds, and indulge even more. Have a satisfying breakfast so you can control your appetite when dinner is ready.
Listen to your body
Of course we’re excited to eat the foods that we likely don’t get the chance to eat all year, but don’t use that as an excuse to keep eating just because food is in front of you. Select a reasonable portion of the food you really want, and skip the foods that you don’t care for. After you finish your plate, drink some water and wait. If you’re still hungry, have more. If not, don’t overeat just for the sake of eating. There will be left-overs tomorrow, after all.
Choose your drinks wisely
We don’t just indulge on food during the holidays– many of us indulge on alcohol. Choose lower calorie alcohols where possible, such as a glass of wine, but make sure you drink a glass of water afterwards to stay sober.
Healthier Dish Alternatives
Make things easier for yourself by replacing some higher calorie dishes with healthier options.
Skip the ham and move straight for turkey. The protein-rich meat is not only leaner, but full of great vitamins and minerals. If you are the one cooking the turkey, do not fry it. Instead, oven-roast or grill the bird. You can bump up the flavor with fresh herbs and other aromatics without heaping on sodium. When you make your plate, choose white meat over dark meat to save yourself the calories.
Sweet potato casserole is a staple of most southern cuisines, but it is really more like a dessert than a side-dish. Opt to have roasted sweet potatoes instead. On their own, sweet potatoes are high in vitamins and minerals, and low in calories. The natural sugar in the potato comes to life when roasted, and you can make them even more flavorful with natural spices.
Homemade Cranberry Sauce
Cranberries are a super-fruit full of antioxidants and vitamins, but you don’t reap the benefits of the tiny red fruit from canned cranberry. Homemade cranberry sauce is simple to make and absolutely delicious– just combine sugar and water, then boil the berries in it. Adjust the amount of sugar or use a sugar alternative to make it even more healthy.
Don’t skip out on the vegetables!
You likely don’t need to be told about all the benefits that come with eating your vegetables. With all the sticky sweet sauces that come with Thanksgiving, you will probably be craving the brightness of fresh vegetables. Keep them simple with olive-oil, salt, and pepper, and enjoy it.
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