Thanksgiving officially marks the beginning of the holiday season. Which, let’s face it, that means a lot of food, a lot of sweets and a lot of celebrating. There’s plenty of ways for everyone to still maintain a healthy lifestyle throughout the holidays – especially beginning with the day of feast, Thanksgiving.
On average, most Americans consume more than 4,000 calories on Thanksgiving Day. 4,000!! That’s including the appetizers and booze beforehand, along with the meal itself, plus the pumpkin pie afterwards. Kind of insane, right? There are so many alternative recipes and remedies that can be implemented in order to still have a happy, healthy holiday.
1. Be Active – Beforehand
It’s pretty much inevitable that your food consumption for the day will be anything close to normal, but that extra workout in the morning can really boost your day. As soon as you wake up, before watching the Macy’s Day Parade, get up and go for a run around the neighborhood or for a quick hike up the mountains. A lot of cities are jumping on the bandwagon, encouraging this type of early bird activity by hosing 5k runs. Getting a quick workout over with in the morning will make you feel better throughout the day and overall, give you more energy.
2. Eat Breakfast!
Most people try to fast before their Thanksgiving Day meal, ensuring that they will be able to eat a little bit (or a lot) of everything. However, this is one of the biggest mistakes anyone can make. Post workout and by the time it’s Turkey dinnertime, you’ll be starving – which leads to binge eating and basically little to no appetite control. Even if you have something small, like 4 egg whites and a piece of Ezekiel bread or a small bowl of cereal or oatmeal, you’ll still have substantial room for all the deliciousness of Thanksgiving dinner – believe me.
3. Healthier Cooking Alternatives
I know what you’re thinking – all those unhealthy ingredients are what make everything actually taste good…wrong! There are so many different recipes and ingredients that can be substituted for a healthier Thanksgiving meal. Just hop on Google and I guarantee you’ll find hundreds of delicious recipes that still capture all of your favorite Thanksgiving Day dishes. You can still have your green bean casserole and sweet cranberry dish – just find a healthier alternative recipe.
4. Portion Control. Portion Control. Portion Control.
Instead of filling up your plate until your food is basically falling over the edges, think of your normal daily food portions. Don’t scoop out four servings of mashed potatoes and smother them in a pound of gravy. Chances are, mid-meal, you’re going to want to stop eating anyways but you still have a plate full of food. Therefore, you’ll sit there and keep eating. There’s no harm in grabbing a little bit of everything, just make sure to keep that part in mind – a little bit of everything. Don’t go crazy over-loading your plate, just take what your body can handle. Another option is using a smaller plate. This is a simple trick that makes it look like you have a ton of food overflowing on your plate, but the overall surface is much smaller.
5. Savor > Devour
Thanksgiving food is to die for, I get it – I’ve been thinking about it for weeks and want to start cooking and eating already. However, despite your excitement for all the delicious treats, make sure to savor your food and don’t inhale it so fast that you can’t move 20 minutes later. You’ve waited a whole 365 days for this meal, take time and catch up with your family and don’t rush through such a delicious feast that probably took a long time to prepare.
Besides, most of you will need to rest up and get some sleep to get up for all those Black Friday door-buster deals. Lucky for you, all you have to do is go online for Lems at midnight; then you can go slip back into your food coma. Happy feasting!