Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude, spending time with family or loved ones… oh, and indulging in tons of rich and savory foods. If you’ve been on your workout grind, Thanksgiving has the potential to undo all of your hard work. It has been estimated that the average Thanksgiving dinner sets us back about 2,000-3,000 calories–more than the entire daily allowance for the average woman.
If you’re nervous about gorging on turkey and stuffing, don’t fret! Follow these tips during your Thanksgiving festivities tomorrow to ward off excess calories and enjoy your meal without the guilt or the weight-gain!
1. Savor Your Food
We know it’s hard to actually sit down and enjoy your meal on a regular day, and even more so when you’re suddenly presented with a feast of delicious food. One of the easiest things to do this Thanksgiving is to eat slowly. By putting your fork down between bites and savoring every mouthful, you will not only enjoy your meal but feel more satisfied with less food.
2. Easy on the Alcohol
Most people make the mistake of drinking excess calories during a typical day. Don’t fall victim to this calorie trap during Thanksgiving. Have a glass of wine or wine spritzer for less calories. In between alcoholic drinks, have sparkling or regular water.
3. Don’t Skip Breakfast
I’m sure we’ve all done it before. Whether it’s in anticipation for the excess food at dinner, or to “save” up the calories, skipping breakfast before your Thanksgiving meal is never a good idea. Missing out on the first meal of the day slows down your metabolism which causes your body to store more calories later. Not to mention, you’ll most likely gorge yourself at dinner because you’re hungrier. Having something to eat at the start of your day is essential.
4. Revamp Your Plate
This rule should be followed not only for Thanksgiving, but also every day of the year: make sure to fill at least half your plate with veggies. While yams, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole and mashed potatoes are technically vegetables, a side salad is an even better option. Filling your plate with side of fresh green beans, brussels sprouts, or putting a healthy twist on traditionally heavy side dishes will fill you up on good food and decrease your calorie intake.
5. Make Healthier Swaps
By making some simple swaps during your meal, you’ll skip the excess calories but still get to enjoy your Thanksgiving feast. See our list below for some easy substitutions:
- White meat — instead of dark meat
- Green bean caserole — instead of stuffing
- Dinner roll with butter — instead of cornbread
- Pumpkin pie — instead of pecan pie
- Home made cranberry sauce — instead of canned
- Baked sweet potato — instead of candied yams