My Tips For A Happy Thanksgiving - Ilyse Schapiro Nutrition

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Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays but it can be stressful for some people.  Honestly, it used to stress me out too.  I would save up all day for the big meal, overeat and then feel awful, physically and emotionally.  Here are some tips to get you through the holiday feeling great!

  1. Get in a Good Morning Workout: If a workout makes you feel good on a regular day why not do this on Thanksgiving day as well? If you have the time, get your heart racing early with a good cardio workout. Your metabolism will get fired up, and you’ll torch some calories.
  2. Make Sure To Eat Breakfast:  Just because it’s Thanksgiving, you should not skip breakfast in attempts to save your calories for the Thanksgiving meal. Skipping breakfast will cause you to be hungrier later on, making you more likely to overindulge. Eat a good, fiber and protein-rich breakfast to get your metabolism started early and keep you feeling satisfied.
  3. Don’t Snack As You Cook:  If you are the host this Thanksgiving, you are likely to be spending hours in the kitchen.  But, be careful not to pick at the food you’re preparing, as those extra calories can add up.  People often underestimate how much they are actually eating when they pick at the food as they make it. If you need a little something before your Thanksgiving appetizers and main meal, snack on raw veggies to fill up on fiber. 
  4. Homemade is Better Than Packaged: Be wary of canned products, as those often contain a lot of sugar, sodium, and preservatives.  Stick to homemade sides- your waist (and taste buds) will thank you!
  5. Drink Water and Go Light on Alcohol! Filling up on water can prevent dehydration (which is a must if you traveled on an airplane), and can also prevent over eating.  If you have a tendency to indulge on alcohol, alternate each drink with a glass of water to cut back on calories. For alcohol, try to choose mixers like sparkling water/seltzer, lemon or lime.
  6. Don’t Crowd Your Plate:  When it’s time to eat, go easy on the portions.  Stick to 2-3 of your favorite sides, as you’ll be less likely to overeat when there is less variety. If you are still hungry, you can always go up for more.
  7. Eat Slowly: Eating slower not only gives you more time to savor and enjoy your food, but you will actually end up eating less because you’ll feel fuller sooner.
  8. Avoid The Skin:  Avoid the skin on the turkey as it is loaded with fat and calories. Choose condiments, like mustard or hot sauce, so give your turkey some extra flavor if needed.
  9. Be Thankful For Family:  Thanksgiving is about being thankful.  Focus on being thankful for family and loved ones and engage in conversation at the table, rather than making the food be the focus of the day.
  10. Be Realistic:  Everyone deserves to enjoy a Thanksgiving day full of the comforts of family and good food.  Don’t deprive yourself, but just make sure to be smart about the choices you make.

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