Thanksgiving can pack a punch to your diet, but it doesn’t have to completely derail you. There are a few things you can do throughout the day to make sure it’s not a tragedy.
Once you read through the tips, make sure to check out the recipe for one of our favorite Thanksgiving dishes.
1. Don’t starve yourself before the big meal
It may seem like a good idea to “save” room by skipping breakfast and possibly lunch before the big meal is served. But if you show up starving, you’re likely to eat like you’ve been deserted on an island.
It’s suggested eating about an hour before the big meal can help. Try one of these options: 2 to 3 ounces of lean protein (e.g. a 3-ounce can of tuna), two boiled eggs, a bowl of vegetable soup or some raw veggies.
2. Keep it green
Thanksgiving isn’t known for piles of green vegetables, but it’s a good way to balance out all the starches and heavy meats.
Some options: raw baby kale, baby spinach or a collard green salad with red onions, sun-dried tomatoes and real crumbled bacon on top.
3. Upgrade your grains
White rolls and pasta are delicious, but you can upgrade your meal by choosing whole grain options instead. Whole-grain rolls, artichoke pasta or brown rice are good options. Or if you’re adventurous quinoa, amaranth or buckwheat are also great.
4. Eat mindfully
Slow down and enjoy each bite and when you feel about 80 percent full- take a break. You can always go back for seconds.
5. Stay active
While Thanksgiving is a day for eating and football, starting your day with a bit of exercise will get the blood flowing and make you feel a little less guilty about sitting down to a massive meal.
Some options: many communities will hold Turkey Trot 5k events, or head to the local park to toss the football and take a walk, or you could just head outside for a walk/run in the neighborhood.
6. Light on the alcohol
Unfortunately, alcohol is packed with excess calories. For example, that glass of wine could pack on an extra 150 calories to your meal.
7. Indulge your sweet tooth
Go ahead and have some pie, but grab the small plate for your sweet tooth sampling.
Still planning your Thanksgiving meal? Here’s a recipe favorite of ClearPath’s team:
Pineapple Au Gratin
1 (20 oz.) can of pineapple tidbits (drained)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
4 Tbs. butter, melted
1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed
- Pour the drained pineapple in a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish that has been sprayed with nonstick spray.
- Mix the sugar and flour and sprinkle evenly over pineapple Sprinkle the cheddar cheese overall.
- Mix the crushed Ritz crackers with the butter and sprinkle over the top.
- Place in a 350 degree oven and bake for 30 minutes