Tips for a Healthy, Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

The holiday season is officially beginning. While we all have much to be thankful, grateful, merry and bright for, it can be easy to feel full, bloated, overwhelmed and anxious. All the celebrations in this season revolve around food for most people, which can take a toll on your healthy lifestyle.

Thanksgiving, one of the biggest feasts of the year for many, is just around the corner. Here are some helpful tips to enjoy your Thanksgiving, just without the food coma that typically follows.

  • Eat before the feast. No matter if lunch or dinner is the main event for your family, it’s important to eat a nutritious snack before. This will keep you from overeating or grazing while waiting on the main course. Try a well-balanced breakfast before lunch or even a cup of vegetable soup.

  • Be picky about your food. When making your plate, decide what food items you want to indulge in and try to pick ones that are only really available around the holidays. If you pick something and it doesn’t taste as amazing as you thought it would, don't feel compelled to finish it. Move on to something else instead.

  • Choose between drinks or desserts. Cocktails and beer can be full of sugar and carbs, just like desserts, so choose wisely and don’t feel guilty about your indulgence of choice.

  • Prepare foods in single servings. If you’re bringing a dish to the meal, consider preparing it in smaller, single serve portions. For example, you could make stuffing in muffin tins, that way people aren’t shoveling huge portions onto their plates.

  • Pace yourself. Take time to slow down and enjoy your meal and the company with which you’re sharing it. Set your fork down a few times during the meal while talking to family and friends. Thinking about getting seconds? Try to wait about 15 to 20 minutes and then see if you’re still hungry. If you are, go for it.

  • Drink plenty of water. The night before and the day of Thanksgiving, you may be having more adult beverages than a typical weekday. Don’t forget the importance of drinking water in between alcoholic beverages. Water will help you feel full and refreshed.

  • Get up and move. On Thanksgiving, it can be so easy to be a couch potato all day. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is on all morning and football is on all afternoon. However, go for a walk mid-morning to get your blood pumping. Also, help clean up after the meal. If the weather cooperates, toss a football around with the family outside.

  • De-stress. The holidays can be stressful for many. Whether it's the pressure of hosting perfect gatherings, sticking to a healthy living plan, or being around family, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Make time to be alone and recharge or to do an activity you love.

Most importantly, enjoy the season and time spent with family and friends. Don’t let the stresses of the holidays get you down. If you stray from your healthy diet and exercise plan, don’t punish yourself. Take a breath and start fresh with the next meal. The Maryville Imaging team hopes you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!