5 Best Tips for a Healthy Thanksgiving
Author - Alyssa Rimmer
How to have a healthy Thanksgiving! Including 5 quick tips that share the best ways to manage the day, how not to overeat and how to still stay fit and lean.
Okay friends, the holidays are upon us! How are you feeling?
For a lot of us, this time of year is a blend of excitement and stress. We're excited because the holidays are awesome, we get time off work, we get to see our loved ones, we get to eat delicious food. The list goes on!
But they also carry with them some stress. And for many of us, it's around the food. During the holidays we can feel a little less in control of our eating – parties, treats, etc. are pretty much constant. So today I want to give you some tips for making one of the more food-focused holidays just a little less stressful.
We're coming up on Thanksgiving; the holiday where we give thanks for everything we have, but it's the holiday where we eat a lot of food. Like a lot, a lot.
How do you maintain your healthy habits while still enjoying all the holiday food? Here are some of my best tips for having a healthy Thanksgiving.
1. Eat a big, healthy breakfast
I know it might seem counterintuitive to eat a big breakfast when you're going to eat a big meal later in the day, but when you eat breakfast, you're kick-starting your metabolism for the day. With your metabolism firing, your body will better be able to burn the foods your eating later rather than storing those calories as fat.
The second benefit of eating a full breakfast is that you won't go into the meal starving and eat more than you need to. Having a meal in the morning that is filling and nourishing will help you manage hunger cues later on.
My top pre-thanksgiving breakfasts? Something with protein, fat and healthy carbs. Omelets, smoothies, avocado toast, or even oatmeal with some protein powder and nut butter stirred in are all perfect.
2. Drink water with alcohol
If you don't personally drink alcohol, then feel free to skip this one, but I do, so I wanted to give you my strategy. The wine will certainly be flowing and it usually starts early on in the day. My rule for keeping things healthy and balanced is to drink at least one glass of water per drink. Usually, I'll have a glass of wine, then a glass of water. This helps slow down the drinking and ensures that you're properly hydrated all day long.
Another option if you don't want to overdo it with your liquid intake is to add seltzer to your wine. It turns it into a sparkling wine, helps you stay a bit more hydrated and tastes delicious. We love adding grapefruit seltzer with red and white wine.
3. Fill up just once
It's tempting to pile your plate high with all the delicious options, and then go back for seconds of your favorites, but do your best and only fill your plate once. And make sure that when you are filling up, you're balancing what's on the plate. You'll want protein, carbs, and veggies – so don't just load up on potatoes 😉 Portion control can be your secret weapon today!
4. Stick to only one
And by one, I mean dessert. There are usually multiple options laid out on the table, but sticking to just one serving of dessert is a great way to make sure you don't leave the day feeling grossly full. I recommend one slice of pie and one scoop of ice cream and leave it at that.
If you do have multiple desserts you want to try, take a sliver of each rather than a full slice. I'm sure there will be others at your meal who would be willing to split them with you!
5. Enjoy yourself!
Most importantly, have fun with your loved ones and enjoy the day. Holidays and family gatherings in general can create a lot of stress if you're trying to stick with your healthy eating. Try not to let what you eat to be the focus of your day. Instead be grateful for the love you have around you.
If you do overeat – which in all honesty we probably all will – just know that this one day is not going to ruin anything. You'll be able to get right back on track the next day. So let loose a little, enjoy yourself and use these tips as a guide to help keep you balanced and feeling your best.
Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes
Now, let's talk FOOD! If you need some ideas for your Thanksgiving table, I've included some of my favorites below for you.
- Easy Quinoa Stuffing
- Creamy Spinach & Mushroom Quinoa Risotto
- Arugula Salad with Roasted Acorn Squash
- Herb Crusted Tofu
- Vegan Shepherd's Pie with Sweet Potato
- Vegan & Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie
- Grain-Free Apple Crisp