Sitting down at Thanksgiving dinner with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy and pumpkin pie starting back at you is no time to decide you’re going to be healthy. But, you’d also like to avoid the food coma that inevitably happens each year and lands you on the couch, groaning from discomfort for the rest of the night.
Lucky for you, you can have your turkey and eat it too! Whether you’re able to make up your own plate and pay attention to your portions, or you’re at the mercy of grandma piling plates high with a little bit of everything, these tips can help you make healthy choices and feel good too.
Posted by: Real Simple
Make it a three-meal day.
Wake up on Thanksgiving with the mindset that you’re having breakfast, lunch, and dinner that day, and you’ll be less likely to stuff yourself at the big meal, says Willow Jarosh, of C&J Nutrition. “I always eat breakfast and a snack early in the day,” she says. “We usually eat around 1 p.m., so our Thanksgiving meal is like lunch. I also always plan to eat dinner, which mentally sets me up to leave the main Thanksgiving meal satisfied but not stuffed, so that I'll be hungry again by dinnertime.”
Go ahead—splurge (on your favorites).
If appetizers are your thing, grab a plate and fill up. No sense saving yourself for the main meal if turkey and trimmings leave you cold. “I tend to go overboard on the cheese and crackers beforehand,” says Emily Dingmann, of A Nutritionist Eats. “We always have an amazing cheese board and it's one of my favorite foods.” To balance her pre-meal indulgence, Dingmann fills her dinner plate with a healthy one-quarter protein, one-quarter starches (including squash), and one-half vegetables. “I’m always in charge of a kale dish, because no one trusts a nutritionist to bring the dessert!” jokes Dingmann, who brings her Lemon Kale Salad every year. “It’s bright and acidic, and the perfect accompaniment to a heavy meal.”
[Read full article: Avoid a Thanksgiving Food Coma This Year With These Healthy Eating Strategies]
Thanksgiving Day doesn’t just have to be about the meal. Other things you can do to stay physically active is get outside (weather permitting) and take a walk, organize a friendly game of football, find a turkey trot near you, or volunteer at a soup kitchen.
But if your plans do involve staying around the kitchen table, don’t let the food be the main focus. Start a puzzle everyone can work on together, bring out the board games, put together some fun conversation starters, or have everyone share what they’re thankful for.
Our mission at Orchard Hospital is to provide our community with superior health care. We strive to ensure that your experience at Orchard Hospital is as pleasant and comfortable as possible. Our priority is to provide you with the care you need when you need it, with skill, compassion, and respect.