Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of year, full of celebrations that bring family and friends together in humble gratitude.
Food is a huge part of Thanksgiving, and many of us look at Thanksgiving as a moment to indulge ourselves without too much consideration of the consequences. While it’s important to celebrate and enjoy your food, be on guard. Thanksgiving is the start of the ‘Holiday Season’ a time where healthy habits go by the wayside to die, and it’s all too easy to let occasional indulgence escalate into weeks of casual overeating. In the US people gain anything from 1-5lbs over the Holidays, and it’s weight they will keep. It doesn’t have to be that way. Here are our top tips to enjoy Thanksgiving and Holiday treats while still being kind to your body
- Have a healthy Breakfast and Lunch- Many people make the mistake of starving themselves all day to try to compensate for the larger-than-normal dinner. It is better to focus on having a health breakfast and lunch, which will provide you with nutrients and help to avoid over-eating at dinner.
- Choose your favorites- during Thanksgiving, there can be a lot of small side dishes which can add a lot of calories to your diet mindlessly. Mindless grazing on things such as crackers and nuts can add a lot of calories, and are often not as enjoyed as the traditional fare. Choose your favorite dishes to indulge in, and try to avoid standing near the snack table if possible.
- Wait to grab seconds- it can take the body some time to signal to the brain that it is full. Try waiting 20 minutes to truly see if you are hungry before grabbing seconds.
- Try new side dishes- healthy wholegrain side dishes such as our harvest quinoa salad may not be traditional, but they will complement the traditional Thanksgiving foods well, and provide additional cancer-preventing vitamins and minerals.
- Be mindful of alcohol- alcoholic drinks contain a lot of calories which can add up over the course of the day. Try having sparkling water or zero calorie soft drinks in between alcoholic drinks to reduce your intake.
- Increase the veggies- thanksgiving dinner is a great time to load up on delicious side dishes of vegetables which provide nutrition and are low in calorie density, meaning you can eat a large number of them without consuming excess calories.
- Back on track- the next day, try to get back to your normal routine. This can be difficult if there are a lot of unhealthy leftovers in the house. You may be able to gift these to friends or donate to the local homeless charities who are always grateful for supplies.
Remember, Thanksgiving only comes around once per year, and at Cook For Your Life, we believe in enjoying your food, with no guilt. While food is a huge focus of this holiday, it’s not the only important thing, so try to concentrate on good company and other things you are thankful for.