Thanksgiving is one holiday where the focus on food is especially intense, but that doesn't mean you can't have a delightful yet health-conscious celebration. Follow these 10 strategic tips to savor the holiday without sacrificing wellness.
Days before Thanksgiving, plan and shop for the holiday and the following weekend. Stock up on healthy, freezer-friendly meals. This will make it easier to revert to healthier eating habits post-holiday, reducing the temptation to dine out.
Make sure all leftover dishes—except for the turkey—are given away. The sides are often high in starchy carbs and unhealthy fats, disrupting your healthy eating habits when consumed for several days. Reserve some turkey for a nutritious salad the next day and have containers ready to send leftovers home with guests.
If feasible, extend your overnight fast until the holiday meal. With appetizers often served long before the main course, you can break your fast wisely and maintain better control over your intake.
Kick off your holiday with an invigorating walk or a local turkey trot. Activity boosts your metabolism and offsets some caloric intake. After the feast, a leisurely family walk can help you make room for dessert.
Keep a water bottle handy throughout the day. It not only aids metabolism but also helps in portion control and reduces the urge to overindulge in alcoholic or sugary beverages.
The keyword for holiday feasting is 'exceptional.' Opt for dishes that are truly special to you and skip the generic store-bought items that you don't enjoy as much.
Thanksgiving isn't "The Last Supper." Feel free to decline extra servings or dishes that you don't want. If you'd like more, ask if you can take a portion home for later. A polite "no thanks" is a powerful tool; use it without guilt.
The focus of Thanksgiving tends to be the feast, but that's not all the holiday has to offer. Plan fun, non-food activities for everyone to enjoy, like board games, a movie, or even a family talent show. This shifts the focus away from continuous eating and creates lasting memories.
Take time to chew your food and enjoy each bite. It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to register fullness. Listen to your body and stop eating when you're comfortably full, not stuffed.
Be mindful of sugary drinks that can quickly add to your daily sugar consumption. Many popular holiday drinks, such as fruit juice, cocktails, and bubbly spirits, are often loaded with sugar. Choose lower-sugar options like sparkling water with a splash of fresh lemon, lime, wine, or spirits with sugar-free mixers.
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Ovvia® Wellness, where it's always about Real Food, Real Science, and Real Simple solutions.
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