Thanksgiving is all about family, friends, and feasting. And being healthy shouldn't mean sacrificing the holiday joy! So we got some tips to make sure you can have an even healthier and happier Thanksgiving this year--don't worry, you can thank us later.
Thanksgiving is a wonderful time dedicated to giving thanks, spending time with family and friends, and eating food- lots and lots of food. That being said, for some, the stress of maintaining health goals during the impending holiday season can cloud the excitement and can make it difficult to enjoy the holidays.
On average, every year at Thanksgiving most people gain around at least a pound, which might not sound like a lot, but that extra holiday weight adds up year after year.
But Thanksgiving doesn’t have to entail a massive amount of guilt. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of tips so that you can enjoy your Thanksgiving traditions while still maintaining your healthy lifestyle.
Eat a Balanced Breakfast
Most think that skipping breakfast will save up all your calories in preparation for the big meal, however, eating a healthy breakfast with lots of proteins and grains will keep you satisfied for the day and prevent pre-meal snacking and overeating at dinner time. Limiting yourself throughout the day and showing up to dinner starving is never a healthy solution and can actually be counterproductive. After all, breakfast is the most important meal of the day!
Create a calorie deficit by burning calories during the day and after the big meal. Take walks throughout the day to stay active, and bring your family along for a nice holiday activity. It’s important to stay moving, so recommending a game of family football or taking a beautiful autumn hike with loved ones is a great way to achieve your goals while also enjoying quality time.
Watch Your Liquid Calories and Stay Hydrated
Taking care to limit your alcohol intake is a key part in staying healthy during the holidays. Although it’s important to kick back and celebrate, alcohol is very high in calories, and they add up. It’s good to also avoid other sugary drinks including soda and juices, and instead opt for healthier choices like soda water. Staying hydrated is always important, so remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
If possible, grab a smaller plate. This is a common trick to portion control, tricking our minds into thinking we’re eating more than we are when we see that this small plate is full. Thanksgiving usually entails a large buffet of a variety of different delicious foods, but make sure to carefully decide which foods to fill up your plate with, taking reasonable-sized portions and dividing up your plate carefully.
Eat Your Veggies First
Veggies are always a big part of Thanksgiving dinner, so fill up on all those nutrients by eating all the veggies on your plate first and you’ll be less likely to overeat when you’re indulging in the less healthy dishes.
Eat your meal slowly and savor each bite. Put your fork down between bites and take your time. This is an easy way to feel more satisfied after just one plate! There’s no rush when it comes to finishing your plate, and eating slower is a known trick to controlling weight gain. You’ll also enjoy and appreciate the food you're eating so much more.
Skip the Seconds
After following the previous tips, you might not feel the need to go for a second plate, but in case you have the urge, pack up the leftovers right after dinner and try not to nibble. By saving the leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day and skipping the seconds, you avoid overeating and also get to save some room for dessert! The best of both worlds.
Try Healthier Recipes
If you’re hosting, try to find healthier recipe alternatives to the classic Thanksgiving dishes. For example this Vegan Pumpkin Pie or this Gluten-Free Apple Rose Pie. This way, you and your guests can still get excited about enjoying the classics but you can feel comfortable and confident in the food you’re eating.
Focus on Loved Ones
Thanksgiving is all about appreciating what you have in your life and spending quality time with the ones you love. Make sure that this is your first priority instead of the food. Although it’s a big part, it’s not what the holiday is all about. Cherish the time spent with others, especially if you don’t see them frequently, and try not to be too hard on yourself. After all, it’s a time of celebration and you’re allowed to let loose, relax, and enjoy yourself.
We wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving from everyone at Natura Market and we hope that these tips are helpful when preparing for the upcoming holiday. Remember to not get discouraged and allow yourself some breathing room this season and make sure to prioritize your quality time over anything else.