Thanksgiving is a day known for inactivity; a free pass to stuff yourself and watch football all day. Don’t throw your health goals and wellness out the window to be followed by guilt and regret the next day.
- Start your morning with a walk to kick start your metabolism. Twenty minutes of physical activity can boost your metabolism, decrease stress and increase your energy level (20 minutes is only 1.4% of your day… you can fit that in right?)
- Play with the kids. Resist the urge to pop in a movie or focus on football. Encourage your kids to play, possibly a family football game, tag, or a leisurely game of bocce ball. Join in on the fun to optimize time with your family and reap the benefits of the activity.
DON’T SKIP BREAKFAST
While you might think it makes sense to save up calories for the big meal, eating a small meal in the morning can give you more control over your appetite.
- Start your day with a small but satisfying breakfast — such as an egg with a slice of whole-wheat toast or oatmeal — so you won’t be starving when its time to dish up.
- Eating a nutritious meal with protein and fiber before you arrive takes the edge off your appetite and allows you to be more discriminating in your food and beverage choices.
Your body can often mistake dehydration for hunger, causing you to consume more calories than your body needs.
- Drink calorie-free water to help feel satiated and keep you hydrated.
- Avoid extra calories in sodas and holidays beverages that will add to the notorious packed holiday calories.
- Avoid caffeine which will dehydrate your body.
If you must have a coffee, avoid the flavored coffees are request half the usual syrup or flavored powder.
COOKING TIPS AND TRICKS
Whether hosting Thanksgiving or bringing a dish, you can cut calories, fat, salt and sugar without cutting taste.
- Use low-sodium chicken broth to baste the turkey and make gravy rather than salty seasonings.
- Use fruit purees, such as apple sauce, instead of vegetable oil in baked goods.
- Practice portion control when using oil and butter.
- Try plain yogurt in place of heavy creams in creamy dips, mashed potatoes and casseroles.
- Use plenty of herbs and spices to flavor side dishes.
- Roast or bake dishes to avoid frying in unhealthy oils.
- Add fresh veggies to your hors d’oeuvres instead of breads and dips.