Surviving Thanksgiving on a Diet
Thanksgiving is one of America’s favorite holidays but for those of us who are trying to reach fitness goals, Thanksgiving can be a nightmare. Essentially a day devoted to having a huge meal with family, Thanksgiving is a minefield if you are trying to eat healthy and avoid rich foods. And it’s not just the fact that the food is available that makes the day difficult; for many of us, Thanksgiving foods are some of our favorite foods. From craving some of these dishes for the whole year to not wanting to stand out by bringing your own healthier meal, it can feel next to impossible to get through the day without wrecking your whole diet. The important thing to remember is that life is all about moderation; there are ways to enjoy your Thanksgiving faves without completely crashing your fitness goals.
A Blip and not a Pattern: If you know you are going to cheat on Thanksgiving, just plan for that. Instead of letting it derail your whole diet, treat Thanksgiving as a one-time cheat day. Challenge yourself to stick to your nutrition goals leading up to Thanksgiving but, even more importantly, make yourself get up on the day after the holiday and get back on the horse. One day of sub-par nutrition won’t derail your goals unless you let it.
Prioritize Veggies and Protein: To keep some of your goals on track during the day of Thanksgiving, follow basic nutritional guidelines like focusing taking up plate space mostly with veggies and protein. Opt for larger portions of turkey and green beans than stuffing or mashed potatoes. The least healthy sides are generally the most exciting but don’t completely ignore the healthier options at the table like the fresh corn and lean turkey which still give you the taste of Thanksgiving without too much guilt.
Practice Portion Control: Getting a taste of Thanksgiving doesn’t have to mean loading a plate with a mountain of food. Try sticking to only grabbing a bite or two of the dishes that are really guilty pleasures. A bite or two of potato au gratin and a sliver of pumpkin pie is not going to kill you as long as your overall plate is a reasonable size. You don’t have to forbid yourself from your once-a-year rendezvous with stuffing as long as you practice moderation