Family traditions of pumpkin pie, stuffing, and green been casseroles sure do get us excited about Thanksgiving Day.
The only issue with every one of those delectable dishes is that they are packed full of flavor…just kidding. The problem is calories!
Especially if you have been working hard on your fitness goals this year, you don’t want one night to derail your hard work.
There are a few tricks you can keep up your sleeve so you don’t take home more than a bowl of leftover sweet potato casserole.
It may seem counterintuitive to eat before you go to a big meal, but eating a small well-balanced snack before you leave will allow you to make better choices on your plate later.
This is the same logic behind going to the grocery store hungry. You put things in your cart that you want to eat right then.
Come hungry, but not so much so you justify grabbing an extra roll, and anything else grandma asks you to try.
- Don’t fill up on appetizers
When you are in a social setting, it is easy to grab whatever is in front of you while catching up about your cousin’s relationship woes. Purposefully place lighter apps in front of you to snack smart.
Lisa Sasson, a New York University nutrition professor, suggests on Business Insider:
“Instead of filling up on heavy appetizers, go for lighter fare, such as fresh veggies, salads, chips and salsa, or a vegetable-based soup like butternut squash soup.”
- Go heavy on the veggies
Filling at least half your plate with an assortment of raw veggies and hummus, or a nice big salad, leaves little room for all the foods that test your willpower.
Roasted vegetables are a nice hearty option that will cause you not to miss the calorie laden mashed potatoes.
Make that the dish you bring so you know it is available, and the family will thank you for giving them a clean eating recipe.
- Stick to water
Drinks that seem to be in excess during Thanksgiving time are ciders and wine.
While wine can be heart healthy in moderation, it still has over a hundred calories a glass. Cider is even worse, with no heart benefits and entirely too much sugar.
Stick to water for most of the night to save up your calories for the things that you don’t get often, but savor; like mom’s famous banana cream pie.
- Keep moving
As tempting as it is to keep an endless plate of delicious home cooked dishes in front of you while you chat it up with your sisters like a bunch of hens- don’t.
Staying stationary right after you eat can pack on the pounds. Try getting the family involved in an outdoor football game, or an active game of charades.
Even if it’s going on a walk when you get home, moving around will help offset some of the “cheat” items you couldn’t say no to…and you shouldn’t have to say no to everything!
This Thanksgiving end the evening feeling proud of your dietary choices, not lying in bed thinking about how you have to re-start your New Year’s resolution.
Following these simple dinner hacks will get you through a night of culinary excess with nothing but happy family memories to show for it.
Please let us know in the comments section how you watch your waist line during Thanksgiving dinner.