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Thanksgiving Prep: Moderation and Balance

For many of us, indulging in a rich, calorie-packed meal on Thanksgiving seems like a reasonable thing to do. After all, it's only one day a year. Not indulging in those delicious dishes on Thanksgiving Day seems like an excessive restriction! So, instead of giving up all Thanksgiving food all together, try eating your holiday favorites in moderation. There are ways to make the most of Thanksgiving without going overboard, and without taking your healthy lifestyle off-track for the rest of the year!

Keep Portions Small
This is a good tip any time of the year, but especially when we're indulging in a big meal like Thanksgiving. Instead of telling yourself you’ll only have salad and then losing control and going overboard, why not try all the things that you want to try but only take a small golf ball-sized portion of each one?

That way, your taste buds can be satisfied, but you'll place a limit on the calories that you're taking in. And, as an added benefit, you’ll skip out on that horrible stuffed feeling that often comes after an overly rich meal.

Embrace Veggies

Instead of loading up your plate with turkey, gravy, and mashed potatoes, why not reserve at least half of your plate for some good vegetable-based side dishes? Salad, green beans, even sweet potatoes would all be a good choice.

And if you're not sure whether your host will be offering healthy vegetable dishes with Thanksgiving dinner, you can always offer to bring one yourself. That way your host has one less dish to make and you can enjoy dinner knowing you’re at least having some vegetables along with everything else.

Schedule a Workout the Next Morning

If you really want to make sure that Thanksgiving dinner won't take you completely off track, this is the absolutely best trick to try.

Schedule a workout date with a friend for early the next morning so that you have built-in accountability to help you control yourself on Thanksgiving Day. Whether you indulge or not, at least you'll be back on track the very next day, instead of going into hibernation and giving up on healthy habits for the entire long weekend after Thanksgiving.

Eat a Protein-Packed Breakfast

Some people try to starve themselves all day in order to make room and save enough calories for the Thanksgiving meal; however, steer away from this. The hungrier you are when you eat Thanksgiving dinner, the more likely you're going to eat more than you should. Instead, eat a nice, filling, protein-packed breakfast on the morning of Thanksgiving. That way, when you get to Thanksgiving dinner, you won't be ravenous and you'll be able to exercise a little more self-control.

Freeze the Leftovers

It's one thing to eat a ton of calories on Thanksgiving, but when you're still eating Thanksgiving dinner on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, that's when you're really going to start to notice that you're derailing your health goals.

The best thing to do with leftovers, besides give them away, is to freeze them and get them out of your sight. Out of sight, out of mind, right? And that way you'll always have them on hand in case you need a quick side or main dish later on this winter!

Embrace Chores that Keep You Moving
Many people don't realize the benefits of doing light chores, housework, and errands when it comes to burning calories throughout the day. Just being on your feet and moving around will help you burn off some of the calories that you'll be eating at dinner, and it will also help you stay out of that lethargic holiday-mode, couch-dwelling state that is so detrimental to keeping your health on track.

All of these tips are easy, so try them out this holiday. How do you make sure you’re maintaining balance this Thanksgiving? Share in the comments below!

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