Thanksgiving dinner is notorious for being a time of all-out gluttony. Mounds of mashed potatoes, pools of gravy, heaps of stuffing, and piles of turkey adorn plates, and many people go back for a second helping. While these foods are delicious, they are calorie intensive, and overeating is a problem for many people during holiday meals. We have a few simple suggestions to help you make your Thanksgiving dinner a little healthier this year.
1. Avoid Alcohol
Many alcoholic beverages are high in sugar. When you are already eating a large meal, these extra calories quickly start to add up. Skipping the extra cocktail or glass of wine could help you knock a few extra calories off of your day. Instead, stick with water, unsweetened tea, or sparkling water. You can also just cut back to reduce calorie intake. Instead of a full glass of wine, you could enjoy half of a glass.
2. Drink Lots of Water
The way that the brain processes hunger and thirst are very similar. Even though you feel hungry, you might just be thirsty. Instead of jumping straight to the food on the table, it might benefit you to first try to drink a glass of water to avoid overeating. Staying hydrated throughout the day can prevent overeating during each meal of the day.
3. Don’t Fast Before Dinner
One way to ensure that you will overeat is to fast leading up to Thanksgiving dinner. When you attempt to save room for a large meal, you are more likely to experience a drop in blood sugar, which prompts you to become cranky and irritable. Additionally, you will be so hungry when food starts appearing that you will snack more and overeat during mealtime.
The best plan is to stick with a regular meal schedule and eat a normal portion during the Thanksgiving meal. If you do want to splurge a bit during the big meal of the day, have smaller meals earlier in the day full of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats.
4. Eat the Healthy Stuff
It seems simple enough, but skip having large portions of unhealthy foods and focus on lean protein and vegetables. Thanksgiving meals are often full of healthy foods like turkey, salad, and assorted vegetables. Those are the types of foods you want to put on your plate. Don’t skip the other foods altogether but eat sensible portions.
A sensible portion of turkey would be about the size of your palm. Vegetables like green beans, sweet potatoes, and Brussels sprouts will help keep you full. Since you are looking for healthy fats, add a little butter to your veggies.
5. Pick Small Pieces of Sweets
At holiday dinners, there are usually a lot of different dessert options. While it is too much to skip dessert altogether, pick small servings of a couple of your favorite desserts instead of loading up a large plate of sweets after a large meal.
6. Keep Moving
It is easy to become a bit of a couch potato after filling up on Thanksgiving dinner. Instead of sitting or lying around, get out for a walk or play with the children in the family at your holiday celebration. Burning calories will help you get into a calorie deficit, which is the only way to lose weight.
For some people, it is easier to exercise prior to the large meal, while others will benefit more from a post-dinner workout. To be successful, choose what works best for you. A lot of people know that they will eat more than normal, and a post-meal workout won’t be comfortable for them. Other people like to feel those extra calories melt off during a post-meal workout session. Again, the real trick is to determine what will work best for you during this busy time.
If you are in need of some help with nutrition before Thanksgiving, the expert nutritionists at Plunkett Fitness can help you determine a good meal strategy for your dinner. By understanding what foods you can make more healthy and knowing correct portion sizes, you can find a balance that won’t lead to weight gain at Thanksgiving dinner and the rest of the holiday season.
Additionally, the personal trainers can help you get and stay in shape despite the holiday season meals that may try to interrupt your weight loss progress. Our personal training sessions focus on weightlifting, which is one of the best ways to burn calories.
Weightlifting and nutrition plans are extremely beneficial to those looking to lose weight during the holiday season. To get started, contact Plunkett Fitness at 913-390-3360.thanks