Stick to Your Diet During Thanksgiving with These Turkey Day Tips

Posted in: Eating Out & Holiday Strategies, Nutrition, Tips, Weight Loss   

Whether you love or dread the Thanksgiving holiday, one thing for sure is: it’s hard to stick to your diet. A plate (or two) heaped with turkey, gravy, buttery mashed potatoes and all the trimmings can blow any progress you’ve made.

There are many things you can do to stick to your diet and still enjoy a Thanksgiving meal — and believe me, sticking to plan or not overdoing it feels A LOT better than stuffing yourself silly.

Here are some “turkey day” tips to get you through Thanksgiving:

  • You know never to go food shopping on an empty stomach, right? The same applies to the holidays! Never sit down to a holiday meal on an empty stomach. Eat a high protein snack beforehand and drink water to alleviate the need to begin nibbling before the meal starts — and to stop yourself from overeating at the table.
  • If you’re invited over, bring along a tray of veggies and low fat dip (or another snack that fits your diet plan), so that you’ll have something healthy to snack on.
  • If you simply MUST have Thanksgiving exactly the same without substituting any of the foods, then you need to make a conscious decision to limit how much you eat. Portion control is key here. Don’t overload your plate. A serving of meat is about the size of a deck of cards; mashed potatoes (1/2 cup) about the size of 1/2 a baseball; use a spoon to measure out gravy instead of pouring it on. Go easy on the stuffing.
  • Take a walk with family members or friends in between courses. If the weather permits, play a game of touch football in the backyard.
  • Do I really need to tell you to stay away from soft drinks and alcohol? If you can’t resist those empty calories, instead go with diet soft drinks; alternate one alcoholic drink with a non-alcoholic drink or, even better, water.

See: Which Alcoholic Drink is Best When Dieting

If You’re Doing the Cooking

  • Serve vegetables along with the Thanksgiving turkey. This is not only a healthy alternative to stuffing but can be served in many different ways. If serving a salad use low fat dressing. A delicious homemade vegetable soup can be prepared as a second course instead of pasta.
  • If you tend to go all out with different courses, limit the amount of courses you serve this year. It’ll not only save your guests’ waistline, but you’ll have more time to enjoy the holiday meal with your guests instead of running around cooking.
  • Make your mashed potatoes low fat by using low fat milk and less butter. You can also add in low fat sour cream to make it extra creamy.
  • Instead of the array of desserts traditionally served every year, why not make an angel food cake and top it with berries and low fat whipped cream.

While these are just some tips to help you stick to your diet, you can still enjoy the holidays. Just make sure it’s the turkey that gets stuffed — and not you! You’ll feel better at the end of the day if you don’t overdo it.

For more holiday dieting tips, check out my free ebook, How To Avoid Holiday Weight Gain.

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