Did you know that the average person in the U.S.A. eats about 5k calories on Thanksgiving Day? That's over a pound of food! Most people gain about 10 to 20lbs during the winter. But that doesn't have to be your fate. We can stay in shape this Thanksgiving if we choose to. Here are some of our best tips, just for you!
#1: Plan your treats ahead of time.
Do you just "have" to have Great Aunt Edna's pecan pie? Well, no one says that you have to deny yourself this treat. Where folks get into trouble is when they plan an entire meal that is one overindulgent treat after another. But if you pick two, or even three special treats to have - then your meal won't go completely overboard when it comes to the calories.
#2. Say "yes" to soup & salad
Both soup and salad are good for you and they also have a fine reputation for filling your stomach. This will slow down the hunger signals you are getting, telling you to stuff yourself silly. It will prevent you from packing in the calories like crazy. And even if you are tempted to try other foods that you didn't plan on - when you've had both the soup and the salad, this means more than likely you will have much less of anything that is super tempting, because there just isn't room in your stomach for it.
#3. Focus on the reasons for the holidays. Thanksgiving is about being grateful and giving thanks. What are you grateful for this year? How can you give thanks? A popular way is by donating food. You could also donate pet food to an animal shelter if you love animals, you don't have to be limited to thinking about only donating food for people, pets are hungry too.
#4. Plan a fun activity - for you & everyone! No, you don't have to twist Grandpa's arm to play a family game of football in the front yard - you could wind up in Urgent Care and that certainly isn't worth burning a couple of hundred calories! Be sensible but add in activity to Thanksgiving. This should NOT "just" be a day where you stuff your face & avoid distant family members that you really don't want to talk to.
A simple activity can be to take everyone on a mile to 1/2 mile walk in your area. This is a reasonable distance that most healthy people can walk - adults & children. You can share your town with family members who don't visit often. If there are lots of little kids coming for Thanksgiving, consider walking to and from a nearby park with a swing set and slide, so the kids can really play!
#5. Offer to cook part of Thanksgiving dinner. Yes, it can be way too easy to complain that your Thanksgiving meal is chock-filled with calories - but what are you going to do about it? Why not offer to cook one of the side dishes, offering a healthier option that lowers the calories, fat and sodium for everyone without sacrificing on the taste?
Today there are so many fantastic recipe sites where you can find recipes, all without cracking open a cookbook. We like AllRecipes.com, where you can even search by ingredient items. So, if you really want to make something that has nutmeg in it - you'll find all of the recipes with this ingredient in it!
#6. Eat lighter the day before & after Thanksgiving. This is what a lot of people do, so they are so much less stressed about having a big slice of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving. No, don't switch to a starvation diet. Simply cut out your bigger snacks and switch them for fruit or non-fat yogurt. Eat more veggies and fewer carbohydrates. It will all balance out!
Here are some of our favorite Stay Skinny Thanksgiving Recipes!
Skinny Turkey Vegetable Soup
Ground Turkey Vegetable Soup
Beet and Apple Salad
Healthy Potato Gratin with Herbs
Apple Cranberry Phyllo Turnovers