Thanksgiving meals are great, especially when you get to share them with loved ones. However, traditional Thanksgiving dishes are high in carbs and calories, which can be counterproductive in achieving your weight loss goals.
Here are five ways you can have a healthier Thanksgiving this year:
1. Substitute high-carb sides with vegetables
Turkey is a lean meat, so it’s not the culprit when it comes to a big Thanksgiving meal – the sides are. Traditional Thanksgiving side dishes, like potatoes, cranberry sauce and casseroles, are loaded with sugar and carbs. Substituting them with vegetables, such as green beans or steamed carrots, will keep you on track with a healthy-eating plan.
2. Control your portions
No matter what dishes are on your Thanksgiving table, it’s important to watch your portions. Even healthier options can add up in calories when you take too much.
If you do opt for carb-heavy sides, try to limit yourself to smaller portions. For gravy, try taking only a golf-ball-sized amount – a little goes a long way. Or instead of a whole serving of carb-heavy dishes, limit yourself to a bite. You get the taste, but not all the calories, carbs and sugars.
3. Include activity in your day
Burn off some calories before or after your meal by planning time for physical activity. Make it a family affair. Take a hike, play a game of tag football – anything to get moving.
4. Limit alcohol
Try sparkling water or infused water to help you stay hydrated and limit added calories from alcohol.
5. Don’t skip meals
It may sound logical to skip breakfast or lunch to prepare for a big feast, but that actually makes you hungrier and more likely to overeat. Instead, have a small healthy snack so you aren’t starving waiting for the meal to be ready.
Try to keep the focus of the day on friends and family, instead of food. With these easy adjustments, you can enjoy the meal without the guilt.
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