5 Thanksgiving Tips

Written by Brian Kenney, General Manager @ O2 Fitness Wilmington

Don’t deprive yourself during Thanksgiving! This is the time to enjoy good food, football, family and friends. Moping in one corner with a handful of carrot sticks isn’t going to work (and will probably not go over very well with the cook). But this doesn’t mean that you have to completely drop your weight loss program. Here are some ways you can enjoy good food while still controlling your calorie intake.

Tip # 1:
Have a healthy snack before you join the party.
Don’t starve yourself so you can save your appetite for the big party. If you’re starving, you’re more likely to eat everything you can grab. Plus, you’ll be so hungry that you won’t actually be able to eat at a leisurely pace or even enjoy all the different selections of food.
Try to have a low calorie snack before you go to the party, or if you don’t have time, fill up on the salad before you hit the main course.

Tip # 2:
Stay away from fattening appetizers.
The turkey and sidings and your mother’s pumpkin pie will already be laden with calories. So skip the appetizers like the cheese platter or the rich pate. Or, take just a few bites, saving your calorie count for the big event.

Tip # 3:
Watch your portions.
One serving of turkey roughly measures a deck of cards. Try to get the breast, which has less fat than the dark meat. One serving of mashed potatoes or turkey stuffing is roughly the size of half a baseball.

Tip # 4:
Catch up on the family news
That’s the real reason why Thanksgiving is so special, anyway: family and friends get together and catch up on each other’s lives. So mingle, play with the kids, look at the family photos, throw the football or corn hole in the backyard, play fetch with your old dog—in other words, spend most of your time away from the dinner table.

Tip # 5:
Eat consciously.
It’s okay to sit at a dinner table and say, “I’m going to enjoy this meal.” But avoid the unconscious nibbling where you eat without even savoring the food. Don’t hang around at the table, absentmindedly popping cheese and crackers in your mouth while you talk to your uncle. Skip the sodas and juices (you can easily finish off 3 to 4 glasses, or 1,200 calories, just while walking around the house). Don’t eat peanuts while watching TV. Save the calories for the meals that really matter to you!

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