With Thanksgiving around the corner, holiday dinners are on the brain. But what if you’re trying to follow a healthy diet?
Whether you’re counting calories or avoiding gluten, navigating the food minefield of your family’s Thanksgiving dinner table can be tough.
This blog gives 10 tips to help you stay on track and enjoy your holiday feasts without going overboard.
1) Eat before you arrive
Plan ahead and eat a healthy snack before you leave for the holiday festivities. Otherwise, your blood sugar may crash and you'll be ravenous by the time dinner rolls around. Eating before you arrive will help keep your energy levels up and prevent overeating while there. Consider bringing along some fruits or veggies as well so you can still feel satisfied.
Drink plenty of water: When we're dehydrated our bodies are more likely to crave junk food because it's looking for quick sources of hydration like sugary drinks or high-sodium snacks that won't do us any good in the long run. So make sure to stay hydrated throughout the day and even during the meal itself.
2) Eat slowly
Eating slowly will allow your stomach time to send signals to your brain that you are full, preventing over-eating. This will not only help you stay on track during the holiday season but also in general. You can also keep a glass of water nearby to take small sips of water throughout the meal.
Once you’ve finished eating, put your fork down between bites to give yourself a break from eating so quickly. Slow down and enjoy the flavors of what you’re eating!
3) Eat only when you’re hungry
One way to avoid overeating is by eating only when you are hungry. Instead of snacking all day, wait until you feel an urge and then eat something small and nutritious. This will help keep your blood sugar levels stable, which in turn will prevent fat storage and cravings. Avoid the bread bowl at the table: Try not to fill up on bread before the main course.
Bread is high in carbohydrates and they can cause weight gain over time. Get a good night’s sleep: A lot of people don’t get enough sleep due to stress or work demands, but it’s important that we do our best to get 7-9 hours per night. Sleep deprivation leads to moodiness, low energy levels, depression, and food cravings.
4) Carry healthy snacks with you
Carrying healthy snacks with you is a great way to stay on track. If you're at a buffet, for instance, pack up some protein balls or raw veggies so that when you have the urge for something unhealthy, you have something healthy to go with it.
5) Don’t go too hard during workouts right after eating
Planning ahead is key, but there are still some things you can do at the dinner table to keep your weight goals in check. First, it’s important not to go too hard during workouts right after eating. After all, those calories have just been burned off! Second, try not to eat dessert for every meal. Third and finally, don’t overeat by more than a few hundred calories in one sitting.
If you are prone to overeating, be mindful of how many slices of pie or pieces of turkey that you're putting on your plate. A good rule of thumb is three pieces maximum per person at Thanksgiving dinners; otherwise, it's likely that an individual will exceed 1,000 calories.
Finally, make sure to stay hydrated so that your body doesn't mistake thirst for hunger.
If you or someone you know is looking for a healthier lifestyle please feel free to reach out to me to schedule a free consultation to get started.
Take care, be well, stay fit!