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Have a Healthy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving marks the kick-off to the holiday season. The holiday is often the equivalent of a daylong binge, one that can quickly morph into a four-day food fest or worse, a four-week food fest that lasts for the entire holiday season.

But believe it or not, Thanksgiving does not have to be a day of overindulgence. It is possible to have a fun, healthy Thanksgiving, one that is both delicious and nutritious and doesn’t knock you off your healthy program. Here’s how:

  • Exercise: Start your Thanksgiving Day with exercise to rev your metabolism and feel great all day. Visit the gym, participate in the annual turkey trot, or hit the slopes for opening day. Whatever you do, just get moving!
  • Breakfast: Many people starve themselves all day in anticipation of the large holiday meal. This only sets you up for overeating. Instead, have a healthy breakfast and a small lunch prior to the large Thanksgiving meal.
  • Water: If you’re adequately hydrated, you’re less likely to overeat. Start hydrating first thing in the morning and keep it going all day.
  • Portion Size: It’s not rocket science—keep your portion sizes healthy. The table is laden with a variety of delicious foods, but sometimes a small taste is enough to satisfy. And remember, the less you eat now, the more you’ll get to enjoy later as leftovers.
  • Leafy Greens: Fill up on leafy greens and you’re less likely to binge on the heavier foods.
  • Connect: Focus on the people rather than the food. This holiday is an opportunity to gather and connect, not binge.
  • Breathe: Take three deep breaths before you take your first bite. This will help you slow down and eat less. Practice putting your fork down between bites, so that you don’t operate on autopilot. We often shovel more food into our mouth before we’ve had a chance to chew and enjoy the food that is already there.
  • Post-Meal Walk: Take a post-meal family walk after dinner and before dessert. This will help you get moving, burn some calories, and practice moderation once dessert is served.
  • Tomorrow Is a New Day: Schedule a workout date with a friend for Friday morning so that you’re guaranteed to get back on the wagon.