Are you wondering how to have a healthier Thanksgiving? It’s officially November, and you know what that means! In just a few short weeks it’ll be Turkey Day, and we’ll be gathered around the table with our closest family members and friends celebrating all that we have to be thankful for. Or, as many of us see it, stuffing our faces with as much turkey and mashed potatoes as we possibly can. However, just because it’s a food-centric holiday doesn’t mean that you can’t make a few subtle changes without sacrificing tastiness or tradition. Here are three answers for how to have a healthier Thanksgiving.
1. Watch What You Drink
If you're wondering how to have a healthier Thanksgiving, think about what you plan to drink. Alcohol, as delicious and wonderful as it is (I’ll be the first to tell you!), isn’t exactly good for you. If you want, cut out alcohol that day and save the calories for the desserts. Or, just have one glass of wine and then switch over to sparkling cider, or apple juice. Or water. Whatever you want. Just be mindful of what you’re drinking and the impact it can have on your body and health.
2. Get Some Physical Activity in
When I was in high school, my family decided it would be a fun family tradition to run a 5K the morning of Thanksgiving, before dinner. I personally disagreed, but did it anyway. Even though I walked it, when I sat down for dinner, I felt a lot better about the food I was eating, knowing that I had an intense workout before. Or, grab your family and have a friendly football game in the backyard. You can also just take a walk after dinner. I think it’s a perfect way to make room for that pumpkin pie. If none of those things seem possible for you, how about doing some squats and lunges while you load the dishwasher after the meal or while checking on the turkey as it cooks? Whatever you do, have fun with it. It is a holiday after all!
3. Be Mindful of How Much You’re Eating and Your Portion Sizes
This is probably the most obvious, but also hardest, thing to do when there's a feast in front of you. On Thanksgiving all of the food is extra delicious and tempting. However, if you are mindful of what and how much you’re eating, it doesn’t have to mean a ruined diet or an obscene amount of calories. My personal favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal is the sides. So, I like to have a little bit of turkey, and small portions of all the different sides that we have. I’m happy because I get to focus on the best part of the meal, and I get to try everything. But figure out what works for you. Not a big fan of the green bean casserole? There’s no reason you have to eat it. Have something you really like instead.
I hope that these tips are helpful for you, and that Thanksgiving seems a little less daunting. If all else fails, brush yourself off and know that tomorrow is a new day. First and foremost, be sure to enjoy the time with your loved ones.