Thanksgiving only comes once a year, and your belly might be thankful about that. It’s a time for loading up on the carbs, lounging on the couch all day and breaking out the pants with an adjustable waist.
But it doesn’t have to be a deathblow to your diet. Here are six ways to ensure a healthier Thanksgiving.
• Start your day off with a healthy breakfast. “Saving calories” for a meal later in the day doesn’t work. And starving yourself the morning of Thankgiving will only make you hungrier. (And skipping food in the days after a Turkey Day binge won’t help you either.)
• Include physical activity, like football with the kids or a hike in the woods. You shouldn’t be on the couch watching football all day.
• If you’re concerned about overeating, get your mental plan in place before you go. Know what you should and shouldn’t eat. (See the next tips for insight there.)
• Foods to steer clear of, according to medicaldaily.com: deep-fried turkey, stuffing, gravy, green bean casserole and pecan pie. If you really need gravy, go for a spoonful rather than a full ladle’s worth. With your turkey, you can trim the skin to cut the calories.
• When you’re dishing out the food, aim for a 50/25/25 split. The 50 percent should be veggies, 25 percent is devoted to turkey and the last 25 percent will be your carb-loaded sides like stuffing, rolls or mashed potatoes. Lori Zanini, RD, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, told Real Simple to fill half your plate with vegetables like Brussels sprouts, carrots, green beans or a salad.