Thanksgiving: Surviving the Family Dinner

Nov 27, 2013 5:46:37 AM

healthy thanksgiving

It used to be your favorite time of the year, the one time where it is completely acceptable to go back for seconds, thirds and fourths and eat five different kinds of desserts. Stuffed turkey, creamy mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie…all delicious and all loaded with the extra calories you’ve been working so hard to avoid. You have three options; you can skip the Thanksgiving altogether and bring your own healthy meal, you can forget the diet and eat what you want for a day, or you can go with the healthier and more realistic option three, which fits somewhere in the middle. Here we explain how to stick to your diet whilst also enjoying your Thanksgiving favorites.

Eat Breakfast

Yes it’s a holiday, but it’s best to start the day off as you would any other by eating a filling and nutritional breakfast. While you might think it makes sense to save up calories for the big meal, experts say that eating a small meal in the morning can give you more control over your appetite. Start your day with a small but satisfying breakfast, such as a poached egg on whole wheat toast, or a bowl of whole grain cereal with low fat milk. This way, you won’t be starving when you arrive at the gathering and will be able to be more discriminating with your food choices later in the day.

Lighten Up

Whether you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner or bringing a few dishes to share, take this opportunity to make your offerings healthy ones. Bring a fruit salad with fat-free whipped cream, a tray of steamed vegetables, or healthier versions of the Thanksgiving foods you love by choosing recipes lower in sugar, fat and calories. This way you’ll know that at least one of the dishes is diet-friendly, and if it’s your favorite food then even better!

Skip the Fatty Appetizers

It’s likely that there’ll be plenty to eat even before the main meal begins - chips and dip, homemade fudge and cookies are just some of the fat-laden appetizers that might be tempting you this year. Instead of filling up on these unhealthy snacks, head straight for the trays of vegetables and fresh fruit if they’re available, or if you’ve planned ahead and brought some yourself. If not, make yourself useful by helping out the host with any last-minute duties and keep your hands busy and away from all the food.

 

healthy thanksgiving

Go Easy on the Alcohol

It’s all about choices, and if you think about it, wouldn’t you rather eat your calories than drink them? Not only do alcoholic drinks contain calories that can soon mount up, alcohol weakens your resolve and could lead to you making less than healthy food choices as a result. If you do want to drink, go for wine spritzers or mixed drinks with diet soda to lower the calories, making sure to alternate alcoholic beverages with sparkling water to stay hydrated.

Watch Your Portions

Thanksgiving tables are bountiful and beautiful displays of traditional family favorites, but before you fill your plate, survey the buffet table and decide what you’re going to choose. Then, select reasonable-sized portions of the foods you cannot live without and don’t waste your calories on foods that you can have all year long. Instead, choose small portions of holiday favorites that only come around once a year, so that you can enjoy special traditional foods and really feel like you’ve treated yourself without having to pile your plate high with everything. But do make sure that you help yourself to generous portions of any steamed or raw vegetables on offer; filling your plate with sides of fresh green beans, Brussels sprouts, carrots and cauliflower will fill you up on good food and decrease your calorie intake.

Eat Slowly and Enjoy Conversations

Eating slowly, putting down your fork in between bites, and tasting each mouthful are the easiest ways to enjoy your meal and feel satisfied with one plate of food. Drinking water throughout the meal also fills you up without adding calories, so you won’t be inclined to go for seconds when the others do. You should also take every opportunity to join in on the conversations around you – it’s not all about the food after all, Thanksgiving is also a great time to catch up and celebrate with family and friends too!

Have Dessert

There’s no reason you can’t treat yourself to dessert, especially if it’s your favorite part. Either take a small piece of each if you’re a big dessert fan, or pick one and have a normal-sized amount. However, skip the ice cream, full-fat whipped cream or any other topping that has unnecessary calories.

Excuse Yourself From the Table

When you’re finally done eating, politely excuse yourself from the table and join in on other activities. Play outside with the kids, watch the game or help with the dinner dishes. Even better, go for a walk while everyone else is watching the game and burn off some of your dinner, while also avoiding the chance to snack on leftovers or any snacks that are being shared out. The walk will also make you feel energized and like you haven’t strayed too far from your usual healthy routine.

Decline Leftovers

Politely decline any leftovers the host offers you, or if you’re hosting make sure you generously share out the leftovers amongst your guests so that there’s nothing left for you to snack on later. Without the temptation of extra food in your house, it’s much easier to return to your normal eating routine the next day and avoid extending the food fest into the weekend.

Incorporate a Weight Loss Supplement

While all of the above strategies are excellent and effective ways to keep your temptation and cravings at bay, sometimes an extra boost of resistance is crucial to really staying on track and continuing to lose weight. A weight loss supplement, such as Phen Caps, in combination with our listed tips is a perfect solution for suppressing your appetite, cravings and even giving an energy burst (perhaps for a nice, long walk after dinner!). Taking 1-2 capsules per day has proved for many to help significantly in losing more weight, while also helping many maintain their goal weight. Conveniently, they require no prescription (there are no known side effects) and can even be bought online! Jump over to our order page now and stock up for the winter season!

 

Do you feel ready to take on Thanksgiving now? Let us know if you used any of these tips, or have your own strategies, by commenting below!

Posted in Lifestyle By

Laura

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