Although the meal is a huge part of Thanksgiving celebrations, that does not mean you have to completely derail your healthy eating habits. And sticking to your healthy eating habits does not mean you have to skip your favorites, it is all about eating sensibly. Take the time to enjoy you meal and spend some time appreciating all that you are thankful for.
If you are going to be attending a large gathering with a lot of appetizers and snacks before the meal, make sure you eat something healthy before you go or volunteer to bring an appetizer so you can provide something that is a bit healthier.
There are many people out there who skip breakfast or lunch on Thanksgiving in order to eat more food during the big meal, but this is not the best idea. You will likely end up eating way more than you would have if you just had a healthy breakfast and lunch, and it will likely end up in you becoming overly full and uncomfortable. This will especially become a problem if your meal is served in a ‘family-style’ setting. If the foods you love are sitting right in front of you, it is more than likely that you will continue to eat them well after you are full. Take your first serving of everything and once you are done with it, listen to your body if it is full so that you do not end up overeating.
The good thing about a large Thanksgiving spread is that there will be leftovers, this means you can enjoy all the yummy food in the following days. So you don’t have to get it all in one sitting. You can take your leftover turkey and make it into a Hearty and Warming Soup. You can also use the leftover turkey to add some lean protein to a lush salad or filling sandwich. If you are going to a large family gathering, bring some containers so you can bring home leftovers to enjoy at a later time.
If you are attending a potluck-type meal volunteer to bring a side dish, that way you know there will be at least one thing that will help you stick to your healthy habits. There are so many great fall vegetables that can be roasted, mashed, or sauteed to make delicious and healthy dishes. Check out some of our favorite Show-Stealing Sides. It is not going to completely derail your diet if you add some stuffing and a roll to your plate, just make sure that those servings are on the small side and that there is a generous pile of hearty greens and vegetables on your plate too.
And don’t worry, no one here is going to tell you not to enjoy a slice of pumpkin or apple pie for dessert on Thanksgiving. Have a little slice of your favorite dessert, transform your favorite flavors into a healthier version, or simply enjoy some seasonal fruit. A little bit of sweetness is needed at the end of a large, savory meal so it is ok to indulge a little bit. Check out some of our favorite Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes, everything from the classics to something a little more out of the box.
Our friends at Greatist created with guide to a smarter Thanksgiving plate. It is a great reference to look at before your meal so you can get a better idea of what your plate should look like.
And lastly, be on the lookout for those sneaky liquid calories. A super sweetened mulled wine or cider is delicious but it can add up in terms of empty calories very quickly. Stick to something less sweet, and be sure to enjoy lots of water while you are drinking and eating.
Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for what you have and enjoy time with your family and friends and you should not let your diet get in the way of enjoying the holiday. Making smarter choices and avoiding excessive portions are simple ways to enjoy the holiday while still maintaining your healthy eating habits.
It is our goal at EAT SMARTER to provide you with healthy and light recipes according to the modern nutrition. We stand behind the healthy recipes we provide and promise, if you EAT SMARTER it will have a positive impact on your health. Cooking is made simple at EAT SMARTER.