Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of year. We get a much needed break from classes, get to see family and friends, and there is deer hunting and Black Friday shopping. Oh, and don’t think I forgot the best part of it all: FREE FOOD. I don’t know about you guys, but free and food are two of my favorite words, especially when the food is free. However, I can’t help but notice my metabolism isn’t as fast as it used be and the holidays are famous for being an unhealthy time of year. So here are few tips to healthier Thanksgiving:
1) Exercise before dinner
Now, I’m not saying you should do a full 30 minute workout or anything like that, but there are other things you can do. Go for a short walk or play a quick game of football with your family. Both of these allow you time to bond and catch up with your family. It also kills time before dinner, so the wait does not seem as long.
2) Eat breakfast
You know what they say, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” and that includes Thanksgiving. In the past I have skipped breakfast on Thanksgiving as a way to cut back on eating, however this can make you eat more. You are so hungry by the time dinner rolls around that you eat more. Breakfast can help you avoid overeating.
3) Position yourself well
What do I mean by this? When you finally sit down to eat, do not put yourself by dessert or the candy bowl. They are just going to be more tempting and easier to sneak. If you are across the table, the temptation will be limited.
4) Portion Control
Speaking of limits, another helpful tip is to keep your portions limited. Choose smaller portions to avoid overeating. It seems like every year my Dad tells me, “Your eyes are bigger than your stomach,” meaning I always take more food than I actually eat. Because I am so stubborn I do my best to eat all of it to make a point. This is absolutely unnecessary and I will try to avoid it this year. You should also try to choose equal portions of turkey, vegetables and whatever else your family has to offer. This way you can eat from all the food groups!
5) Eat slower
This may seem silly but it really is helpful. With all the excitement of a home cooked meal and your Grandma’s homemade stuffing, you may eat faster than you realize. This also results in overeating. If you eat slower than your stomach can recognize, then you become full quicker.
6) Skip the soda
Instead of grabbing a Diet Coke or a Mountain Dew, reach for a glass of water instead. Soda is really unhealthy for us; according to my doctor, the equivalent is consuming a cup of sugar. He has a PhD so I didn’t question him. But a cup of sugar is kind of gross if you think about it. If you don’t want to give up all the delicious food, this tip is for you.
7) Don’t feel guilty
Finally, if you do eat too much or take a second and third helping, don’t feel bad. Personally, I set out to eat better every holiday season, yet every year I give in. Granted half the time it is because I’m trying to avoid the question none of us want to answer. You know, the “What are your plans after graduation?” I don’t know yet, okay everyone? Anyways, I may give in every year, but I also get better at following these tips every year. I mean it is Thanksgiving after all and it is a day for eating!