How To Avoid Overeating On Thanksgiving

November is finally here and the only thing most people can think of is Thanksgiving. Years ago, Thanksgiving for me meant coming together with family, but it was an occasion to stuff my face as much as I could with good food. It was a holiday where I’d eat both sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes with gravy all on the same plate. I must not forget the baked mac n cheese, followed by the sweet potato pie for dessert. I feel nostalgia creeping in just thinking about it; thankfully my need to overindulge has changed. Here’s how I avoid overeating on Thanksgiving. Hopefully these tips will help you too!

Avoid overeating on Thanksgiving

Steps to avoid overeating on Thanksgiving

Eating healthy during Thanksgiving while still enjoying the festivities is entirely possible. Here are some tips to help you make nutritious choices:

Step 1: Plan ahead

Before the big day, plan your menu and make some healthy swaps in traditional recipes. Opt for lower-fat ingredients and use less sugar where possible. If you’ll be participating in most of the eating, but not the preparing, ask if healthier options will be available.

Step 2: Start your day with a healthy breakfast

When younger, I’d skip eating for most of Thanksgiving day so that I’d be able to eat as much as possible when dinner became ready. This is hilarious even thinking about it. Don’t do this. Try to eat the same hearty breakfast you do everyday.

Step 3: Control portion sizes

Use smaller plates to control portion sizes. Aim for a balance of protein, vegetables, and whole grains. Avoid piling your plate too high with high-calorie items. If you’re hungry for more, wait awhile before indulging again. While waiting you may realize you’re actually full and satisfied.

Step 4: Load up on veggies

Fill half your plate with vegetables, aiming for a variety of colorful options. Roasted, steamed, or sautéed vegetables are great choices. Remember, you can typically eat all the vegetables your heart desires because they are low in calories and super healthy, of course! Although potatoes are vegetables, they are high in starch that converts to sugar when metabolized. Keep that in mind.

Step 5: Eat lean protein

Whether you’re a turkey or ham fan for Thanksgiving, both has its pros and cons. Most people avoid eating turkey breast because its dry, especially when compared to the thigh or leg. White meat is considered lean because it has less fat while dark meat is tastier, but has higher fat content. Eat gram of fat is about 9 calories, this can quickly add up. Especially when you have a plate full of other foods. If you’re trying to lose body fat, dark meat should be limited.

Ham is actually low in fat and calories, but it’s a cured meat that’s loaded with sodium. If you have high blood pressure or even borderline, you should stay away from ham. In addition to high sodium, ham is a processed meat. Processed and cured meats are linked to heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

Step 6: Mindful eating

When you’ve made your plate, enjoy your food slowly. It’s not a competition on who can eat the fastest. When you slow down and enjoy every bite, you digest food better. You’ll have less gas, bloating, and you’ll feel satisfied a lot sooner.

Step 7: Stay hydrated

Drink enough water throughout the day. If you’re trying to lose body fat, water intake will help you feel full faster.

Step 8: Be mindful of alcohol

Again, if you’re trying to lose body fat or if you’re on your health and wellness journey in general, too much alcohol can make you fall off the health wagon big time. The recovery time for alcohol consumption can take a few days, this is lost time for exercising to get your body right. Try to drink slowly and limit yourself.

Step 9: Stay active

After your meal, go for a walk or do something else active. Eating a heavy meal can leave you feeling lethargic. If you want to workout or go for a walk before eating, that’s great too!

Remember, it’s okay to indulge a little on Thanksgiving, but the key is moderation and making healthy choices when possible. Enjoy the holiday, the food, and the company, and give thanks for the opportunity to share a meal with loved ones!

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