How to eat healthy during Thanksgiving

Holidays

(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.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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