Thanksgiving can be challenging time for people trying to have a healthy lifestyle. From family gatherings, to office parties there can be temptation everywhere even for the most seasoned health-minded person. But I’ve got you covered, these healthy Thanksgiving tips will help you stay on track while still enjoying this special time of year!
Over the years my husband and I have come up with some great healthy Thanksgiving tips to enjoy the holidays without sacrificing healthy habits and overall well-being. And that’s a key point, it’s taken me time to really gets my habits cemented! So rather than seeing this time of year as a huge hurdle to overcome, which can then create more anxiety, see it as another moment to discover new shortcuts that work for you.
Healthy Thanksgiving Tips
#1: Bring your own dish
Bring your own dish (or 2!) to the Thanksgiving table – I like to bring a salad as well as something warm if I have time to prepare 2 items. This ensures I’ll be able to pretty much rely on my own dishes and not feel stuck with unhealthy options.
If you’re looking for some fun recipe ideas here is my menu from last year and also some Indian recipes that bring a fun twist to Thanksgiving! And here’s an awesome roundup for 31 healthy Thanksgiving recipes!
#2: Eat a healthy meal before Thanksgiving dinner
If you’re full of healthy grains and fiber-filled veggies or fruit from breakfast or an early lunch, it will be so much easier for you to make choices that are sensible and don’t go too far. Having a bit of balance will help you enjoy some of your favorites without the temptation of an empty stomach!
#3: Limit desserts – the first 1-2 bites taste the best
For sweets and dessert I try to stick to a smaller portion but really enjoy the first few bites. Usually the first few bites taste the best and you deserve to really savor them! But after that it can be easy to overload on the sweetness and it can wake up a weakness for lots of sugar. Let yourself have your favorite dessert and be fully present and enjoy it.
#4: Drink lots of water
Stick to water for drinks and say no to alcohol or sweetened beverages. Those are calories that come with zero fiber and rarely any nutrients. Often we can mistake thirst for hunger and staying hydrated helps you feel more full and balanced.
#5: Eat lots of veggies
Despite indulgences, be sure to also take in lots of fiber-full and nutrient-rich vegetables. It’s important to still get lots of nutrition and with so many creative side dishes it’s not as hard as you might think! I like to fill roughly half my plate with vegetables and salad and the other half with starches and turkey. This helps me keep a balance without worry too much about portions.
#6: Avoid Alcohol
Alcohol comes with empty calories and can impair your judgment, so I like to avoid it entirely. If you simply must have a drink then consider skipping dessert or a different dish to help balance your meal. But in general I recommend enjoying food and family rather than alcohol. As an alternative you can have sparkling water with a splash of lemon or lime and enjoy a clear head as you make holiday memories!
#7: Go for a stroll
You don’t have to punish yourself with a hard workout before or after your Thanksgiving meal. Something as simple as a brisk walk around your neighborhood for 20-30 minutes can be very refreshing and put in the right mindset to make healthy choices.
#8: Be thankful… for your health!
Remember that kindness to your body includes good nutrition that fuels our best days! Take a moment to be present, take a deep breath and be glad for the many blessings you have in your life. Family, friends, a roof over your head, a beating heart, a moment to pause. All of these simple things that we don’t notice in the everyday are truly extraordinary during Thanksgiving.
Enjoy your holidays and HAPPY THANKSGIVING everyone!