Thanksgiving comes once a year, so why not go ahead and splurge? Most pack on a few pounds during the holidays and keep that extra weight permanently. However, Thanksgiving does not have to sabotage your weight. A little know how can satisfy your desire for traditional favorites and still enjoy Thanksgiving festivities.

1. Eat Breakfast

It may seem like a good idea to save your appetite for the main event, but it’s important not to show up to the main Thanksgiving meal starving. When you’re that hungry, your willpower tends to disappear, making it tough to avoid eating whatever’s in sight. Saving those calories for that Thanksgiving meal…rarely works. You end up spending time overindulging. Instead, start Thanksgiving with a healthy breakfast such as whole grain cereal or an egg omelet with veggies.

2. Make sure your plate is colorful

Fill your plate half with vegetables, one quarter with turkey meat (no skin), and the rest with healthy carbohydrates. Also, try to keep the carb portions to the size of an ice cream scoop, leaving room for the other nutrient-dense produce.

3. Eat Mindfully

Eat mindful, savor every mouthful. Eating slowly, putting your fork down between bites, and tasting each mouthful is one of the easiest ways to enjoy your meal and feel satisfied with one plate full of food. Enjoy your holiday meal without eating to excess.

4. Include physical activity


Eat less and exercise more is the formula to prevent weight gain during the holidays. Include exercise to burn off extra calories before you indulge in your favorite foods.  Make fitness a family adventure by taking a walk early in the day and after the meal, don’t forget to move. Take a stroll outside; play a game of football in the yard, walk, or cycle. It is a wonderful way for families to get moving and enjoy the holiday together.

5. Bring a Healthy Dish

If you’re not hosting, bring some healthy dishes that you enjoy. Consider showing up with a plate of roasted vegetables or a fruit salad.

6. Cut back on alcohol

Alcohol calories can add up quickly.  In between every drink have a glass of water or sparkling water to keep yourself hydrated and calories at bay.

Carol Aguirre MS, RD/LDN