(WHNT) — It’s a dilemma every Thanksgiving: stuff your face or wishfully eye that Thanksgiving bird. How about a third option—enjoy the Thanksgiving turkey and all the trimmings, and do it in a healthy manner.
Registered Dietitian Lauren Dauro said it all comes down to a few simple steps. And these tips aren’t just for Thanksgiving, either!
Before the Meal
- If you’re the one cooking for the family, think about substituting low-fat sour cream or baking the bird, instead of deep-frying it.
- If you’re going to somebody else’s feast, take something you can enjoy in bigger portions.
- Before heading to the feast, don’t skip breakfast. Eat one that’s nutritionally balanced and has lots of fiber.
During the Meal
- Dauro said being restrictive and cutting yourself off from eating certain foods could make you feel deprived and result in you overeating later.
- Instead, be intentional and mindful as you enjoy the Thanksgiving feast. It’s only one day, she added—not an entire week.
- Pile up one plate of food you love and don’t go back for seconds.
- When you’re eating, be sure to savor every bite and take it slow – Dauro said it takes the stomach 20 minutes to tell the brain you’re actually full.
- Ease up on liquid calories, such as soda, juice, and alcohol.
- Stay hydrated with water throughout the meal, and stay active throughout the day to keep the blood flowing.
- Eat until you’re 80% full; you’ll know because you’ll feel full, but not stuffed and not ready to sleep off the inevitable food coma.
After the Meal
- Freeze the leftovers and send them home with family so you don’t tempt yourself in the coming days.
- Most importantly, remember: Thanksgiving is about being together after a long time apart, more so because of the pandemic.
- Don’t wait until the new year to set fitness goals and to seek out a registered dietitian to help meet those goals.