Pecan pie! Sugary sweet potato casserole blanketed in marshmallows! Mountains of mashed potatoes! Whenever Thanksgiving rolls around, there’s always delicious food to be had. Depending on whether you’re on a diet or not, this can either be a cause for excitement or fear. The good news is that the average weight gain over the holidays is just one pound. Unfortunately, that’s not all of it. The holiday weight gain is much worse for people who are already overweight, averaging over five pounds during the holiday season.

healthy thanksgiving

Of course, no one wants to miss out on all the delicious eats that Thanksgiving treats us with. But what about those of us who are on a diet or health conscious? How can we enjoy the good food (and good times) of probably the most scrumptious holiday of the year without sacrificing our commitment to healthy eating and living? The good news is, you can enjoy holiday feasts without having to give up on being healthy.

All too often, we throw our health goals out the window when it’s time to feast at Thanksgiving. We give into the sinfully delicious temptations of Turkey Day, disregarding even long-followed health and fitness goals “just for one day,” we tell ourselves. But the truth is, splurging on just this one day can throw off our hard-earned gains for months, so it’s important to practice moderation and self-control during this delicious day.

Easier said than done, I know.

While the piles of delicious food that spread out like a buffet at any Thanksgiving celebration make it all too easy to overindulge, following a few simple rules can do wonders in keeping your health (and your gut) in check during the most splurge-worthy holiday of the year.

 

Rule #1: Limit Your Treats

The first trick to healthy Thanksgiving eating starts with the treats, With pies, cookies, and cakes galore, it’s way too easy to just start scarfing down everything in sight come Turkey Day. But in order to keep your health and diet in order, you need to practice discipline, and dessert is the first place to start.

Instead of pigging out on large slices of every dessert on the table, limit yourself to just one small, half slice of your very favorite dessert, one time. This way, you’ll still be able to enjoy a well-deserved (if only occasional) treat while keeping your diet and health goals alive. And you can enjoy the holidays without feeling guilty!

 

Rule #2: Eat What You Love, Leave What You Like

The second rule to healthy feasting during Thanksgiving is to only eat the foods you really love, and to leave the food you just simply like behind. Doing this empowers you in two ways.

First, it allows you to not have to sacrifice at all to enjoy some of your favorite foods in order to make room for other stuff you only kind of like. Second, it maximizes the enjoyment you get out of the foods you do eat since you’ll only be feasting on the foods that are most satisfying to you.

Another great benefit of following this rule is it controls your urge to eat unhealthy holiday foods. How many people eat pumpkin pie or green bean casserole just because they think that’s what they’re expected to eat during Thanksgiving. A lot of times, people splurge on foods they don’t really enjoy, only because they think it’s a requirement of truly celebrating the holiday. It’s not.

 

Rule #3: Start Low and Finish High

A great trick to filling up during the feast without consuming a lot of calories is to order your food consumption in terms of calories. For instance, start with the foods with the lowest calories, like soup and salad, before moving up to higher calories foods like honey-glazed ham and casseroles. That way, once it’s time to get to the “good stuff,” you’ll already be pretty full and will be unable to overindulge in the foods that are the least healthy (and most likely to get your diet off track).

 

Need Some Holiday Help?

Maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle is already challenging. It can be even harder during the holidays, especially Thanksgiving. While we hope this post helps guide you towards healthier eating this year, sometimes you need a little extra help. If that’s the case, call All-Inclusive Health. Our staff of expert fitness nutritionist specialists and personal trainers are here to help you keep your health goals on track this holiday season. Call 504-715-0397 today to get the guidance you can depend on and accelerate your health and fitness goals today!