Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, food, awkward conversations and of course football. Although you can’t control all of these things, you can control what you eat and how you enjoy this lovely celebration. While food and family is a quintessential part of most Thanksgiving traditions, you can make this day a win-win enjoying food and family and still feeling your best afterwards! Here are some simple steps to make this Thanksgiving a little (or a lot) healthier!
1. Before you sit down DRINK WATER. Super simple, right!? Water helps you feel fuller and has been shown to speed up your metabolism. Studies have also shown that people who drink water before they eat, eat about 75 calories less than if they were to not drink water. Now, I’ve never been a big numbers girl but…let’s say you do that before two meals each day. Thats 150 calories less or 53,400 calories each year! This could prevent approximately 15 lbs. of fat you would have gained otherwise! So I may or may not have just helped you lose 15 lbs. in a year by simply drinking more water before your meals. Skip the carbonated beverages and always go with the H2O!
2. Portion Size: Your eyes are bigger than your stomach. Don’t stack your food mile high on your plate. (Trust me I know it’s hard) When the food looks and smells good you’ll want your plate to turn into a bottomless pit. Eating a little at a time can make a huge difference. Give yourself some wait time in between servings so you realize how much you’re eating. Pay attention to the people around you and engage in conversations. I know sometimes I can inhale my food which is obviously not the goal!
3. Eat your protein first. This eliminates snacking. Eating the turkey or ham first, gives you the protein that you NEED instead of extra calories and carbs your body won’t use. It will also keep you full longer and help you limit the unhealthiest options we all know will be there. If you’re eating more turkey than mac and cheese, your body is getting more of what it can use. Still eat the mac and cheese though just be smart about your portions! 🙂
4. Don’t skip the veggies.Vegetables are your friend! Color is a beautiful thing! Get all your nutrient rich food in first then enjoy smaller portions of comfort food!
5. Get moving!
This one’s my favorite! Instead of watching game after game, go outside and play one! Walk the dog, go for a walk, or even wash the dishes. One tradition Daniel and I have started is doing a 5K (or some sort of activity) the morning of. Whether we’re in my hometown or his, there’s usually several 5Ks, 4 milers, 10 milers, whatever it is you’re looking for. Even getting a quick workout in the morning of will make you feel so much better when you’re digging into that Pecan Pie! Start your own family tradition that includes movement! Whatever you do, be proud of yourself and enjoy the holiday!
Last years Thanksgiving Turkey Trot with Daniel and his dad! Daniel’s dad enjoyed it so much, he wore his medal to the family Thanksgiving dinner!