Nutritionists estimate that the average Thanksgiving meal ranges between 3,000-5,000 calories. When you think about a caloric average for most people is generally between 1,500-2,000 for an entire day, you can see how just the Thanksgiving meal itself is often double, sometimes even triple the amount of calories needed for an entire day. And that is just for ONE meal!
Remember approximately 3,500 calories equals a pound of weight, so you can easily see how gaining weight during the Thanksgiving holiday is possible especially if you let snacking and overeating get a hold of you.
Here are 5 tips to help you have a healthy Thanksgiving holiday yet still enjoy yourself amongst family and friends.
Drink Lots of Water Throughout the Day
It’s very easy to overlook how important it is to drink water throughout the day. This could be one of the best tips you start utilizing not just during the Thanksgiving holiday but on a daily basis too. Drinking water helps keep your body nourished and takes up space so that your body doesn’t feel starved tempting you to go on a munching rampage. You will also find that when you drink a lot of water, you won’t need to eat as much food to get “full” which helps keep calorie intake to a minimum.
Watch Out For Mindless Snacking
Sitting in front of the television and watching a sporting event can be the perfect recipe for reckless snacking. A three hour game usually has everyone chatting, cheering, and unfortunately stuffing handful after handful of snacks into their mouths. Combine that with soda or alcohol and the amount consumed during that time can turn out to be quite significant. To top it off, dinner hasn’t even been served yet! If you must snack, have some fruit and veggies which are both healthy and nutritious.
Keep an Eye On Your Portion Sizes
Portion control at Thanksgiving generally goes WAY overboard. Most people are busy laughing and talking with family and don’t pay much attention to the amount of food being placed on their plate. Be mindful of the amount you serve yourself on your plate. Start with small portions. Drink one or two glasses of water throughout your meal. If you are still hungry after finishing all the food on your plate, then get a little more. Eat slow and give your body time to register what is coming in. You may find that by just eating slower, you’ll get full on less.
Choose Healthy Options
Try and select a few items that would be considered healthy so you don’t end up with a plate full of unhealthy stuff. You can also try to minimize the damage by minding your choices. Do without the gravy, sparingly put on the salad dressing, eat turkey without the skin, opt for jello instead of pie, vegetables instead of cheese scalloped potatoes. These five choices alone could save you 800 calories right there.
Don’t Eat Late At Night
Many eat Thanksgiving dinner around 4pm then around 10pm might be tempted to have another plateful of all the fixings. Try not to toss in another 2,000 calories into your body an hour or two before you go to bed since that will just end up finding a nice home around your stomach, thighs, or butt. If you do have a slight hunger craving at night, drink a large glass of water and a few carrots or celery sticks with a little peanut butter. This 100 calorie snack will get rid of the hunger craving and keep the amount of sustenance entering your body to a minimum at that late hour.
Gregory L. Gomez, M. Ed, an elementary school teacher for 13 years, now on a mission to develop a healthy life, lose weight, and finally get in shape. Follow his progress on http://healthychoicesinlife.com as he strives to lose 60 pounds through dedicated exercise and healthy eating. Get a FREE monthly Healthy Choices Newsletter along with FREE Healthy Eating Ebook just for stopping by at http://healthychoicesinlife.com/programs.