Tweaking Thanksgiving for a Healthier Approach

Thanksgiving is a holiday that so many people enjoy, and for various reasons. There’s the wonderful parade, exciting football games, time together with family, retail sales galore and most importantly, of course, a boat load of food.

Sometimes we resign ourselves to the idea that we are just going to overeat and likely gain weight over the holiday season no matter what happens. We treat it as though it is an inevitable fact of life – but is it?

There actually are a few ways that we can prevent ourselves from falling off the wagon of a healthy lifestyle during Thanksgiving time and they can make all the difference in how we feel that day and the days following when we would ordinarily be in a food coma. They also don’t have to include Tofurky, despite what you may have heard on the radio. So this year, I encourage you to try out the following ideas:

  • Register for your local turkey trot, which is ordinarily a 5K held in many cities on Thanksgiving Day, and in most cases, you can choose to either walk or run it.
  • If you are hosting Thanksgiving dinner at your house, buy smaller plates. People have a tendency to fill up their plates on holidays like these, so using smaller plates can play a very subtle role in portion control.
  • Start a backyard football game, or an alternative game that gets the family moving. For many, this is an annual tradition and while we might not all love football, we can at least appreciate the fact that this gets you off the couch.
  • Try a few alternatives to the usual sides and desserts. Maybe this means replacing the green bean casserole with some steamed green beans instead, or opting for a fruit salad instead of that second pie. Not every dish has to be exemplary for clean eating, but it will at least give you and your guests the option of selecting something healthier, which you obviously could not do if you didn’t have it.
  • To that end, if you are a deep fried turkey family, it couldn't hurt to give roasted or grilled a chance this year!