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Recipe for a Healthy Holiday

The Thanksgiving holiday is known for food—but who said it needs to leave you feeling like an overstuffed turkey?

According to the Calorie Control Council, the average American consumes as many as 4,500 calories and 229 grams of fat during a typical holiday gathering.

Of course, it’s OK to indulge occasionally. One day of overeating certainly won’t kill you! Remember, however, that Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holiday weight gain season. And with more than five weeks of food and festivities ahead, it helps to start on a healthy note.    

If past Thanksgivings have involved excessive gorging and time on the couch, consider turning over a new leaf. Try these simple strategies to incorporate smart fitness and eating habits—and you’ll set the tone for the rest of the holiday season.

Love buttery mashed potatoes and gravy? No problem! Enjoy small amounts along with veggie dishes such as Kale Salad with Roasted Pumpkin, Cranberries and Goat Cheese and Beautiful Brussels Sprouts. It’s all about balance! Choose fresh, organic and locally sourced ingredients whenever possible to avoid harmful pesticides  – and to support local and regional farmers. For more recipes, check out 16 Healthy Thanksgiving Side Dishes from Cookie and Kate

Sure, it’s a holiday, but a workout will feel good and help burn off all those extra calories. Plan to hit the gym early for cardio or strength training, swimming, or an indoor cycling or BODYPUMP class. (Zenergy is open 6am to 2pm on Thanksgiving Day – check the class schedule here.). Arrange to meet a friend for a jog or hike. Sign up for the annual Hailey Turkey Trot 5k fun run. Get the entire family outside for an invigorating game of touch football.

Instead of eating until it hurts, stop when you feel comfortably full. Keep portions small and sample the different foods. Want seconds? Go for it! Just keep in mind how it could make you feel. Remember, the food isn't going anywhere! Unless, of course, you’re a dinner guest, in which case, you can ask for a plate of leftovers. Whatever you do, leave room for pie—and, if possible, go for a walk before enjoying a modest slice.

Have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!