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Five Steps to a Guilt-Free Thanksgiving

by Cory Phillips

With Thanksgiving only a week away, I figured I would share five tips for having a healthier, guilt-free Thanksgiving Day.



1. Get active! Increase duration or amount of exercise you do in the days leading up to or even on the day of a big food holiday. Even on Thanksgiving, try doing something physical in the morning before all the festivities begin and maybe try going for a walk after dinner to help stop the food coma from setting in.



2. Eat a full breakfast! Some people will try to "save their calories" for the big dinner by not eating breakfast Thanksgiving morning. But having breakfast in the morning can help you have more control over your appetite later in the day. Even if you aren't having dinner till later in the afternoon, try having a small meal 2-3 hours before so you don't overeat.



3. Portion control! The best way to make your plate and figure out what to put on it will go something like this: survey all the food choices and decide what you want before you start filling your plate. Try to pick seasonal foods that you don't get to have the rest of the year like stuffing, cranberry sauce, and sweet potatoes. While staying away from filling your plate with foods you have throughout the year like mashed potatoes, and rolls with butter. Once you've done this, start filling your plate while keeping in mind how big the portions you're taking are. If you are planning on having dessert, try to skip seconds since you will need to save room for those goodies. 



4. Eat and drink slowly! Remember any holiday is a marathon not a sprint. Try to spread out the meals (appetizer, dinner, dessert) throughout the day with plenty of time in between to relax and spend time with the family playing games, watching TV, or going for a walk. This also goes for alcohol, so try to only have a 2-3 drinks throughout the days since they tend to be high in calories. Maybe just one while having appetizers, one with dinner, and one after dessert when the night is wrapping up (unless you're driving).



5. Be realistic! It's a holiday, time meant to be spent with family and friends so enjoy it! Don't let let the stress of food and calories get to you. Shift from the mindset of trying to lose weight or restricting yourself from all the foods you love to focusing on weight maintenance and portion control. This will enable you to make it through Thanksgiving feeling happier, healthier and less stressed!

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