Thanksgiving is a time to enjoy what we are thankful for and why we should be proud to be American. About 400 years ago, Native Americans and Pilgrims sat down and enjoyed a harvest dinner together. It was a time where people put aside their fighting and sat down together to enjoy each other’s company, food, and culture. Let’s use this time of year to put aside differences and find a common bond in making a happy, fun and healthy Thinner Thanksgiving.
These 8 tips will help make your Thanksgiving thinner and healthier:
- Start your day with a 5K. In or around your town, there are tons of turkey trot runs, walks, bike rides, and other fun fitness classes at your local fitness center. Find a way to start your day with some physical activity. 30 minutes is a start.
- Eat breakfast after your 5K or morning workout. If you eat breakfast and have a small snack before your big turnkey dinner, you will not eat as much at dinner. Pace your eating throughout the day so you don’t overeat later.
- Drink lots of fluids to stay full. Let me clarify, I am not saying don’t drink alcohol, I am saying drink other fluids with it. If you have alcohol, stick with lighter drinks that are lower in calories and drink other fluids too.
- Provide your family and friends with healthy snacks. If you are hosting, these can be put out while you finish preparing the meal. If you are visiting, bring a healthy side dish to share. Try adding hummus and carrots to the table, or vegetables and a light Greek yogurt dip to snack on while guests wait.
- Eat slowly when you finally do have your turkey dinner. Load your plate with vegetables first, go for potatoes and butter or oily side dishes and casseroles last.
- Don’t fry your turkey. Bake your turkey in a natural and light way with its own sauces and avoid extra gravy. Eat turkey slowly and drink lots of water with it.
- After dinner, avoid “seconds”. Try to eat what you want to eat on the first plate. Avoid sitting at the table for too long. Move to another room after dinner to socialize. Sitting at the table for a long time entices you to second helpings of calorie rich foods. Besides, turkey sandwiches on Friday are always enjoyable.
- Go for a walk after dinner before dessert. Be the person to round up the guests and get outside for a 15 minute walk. If it’s cold it will give you a good conversation piece and your hot pumpkin pie will taste better when you come back inside.
With these tips in mind and with a healthy holiday ahead, I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving. Be grateful for what you have, what you had, and what you can have. We are so lucky to be American and to celebrate such a great day with friends and family.
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