It’s that time of year again, the holiday season! First up, Thanksgiving! What a wonderful time of year. Spending time with loved ones, and eating awesome homemade food. I’m very much looking forward to creamy mashed potatoes. I know I’m not alone when I say this is the time of year when I overindulge just a tad…. maybe more than a tad. With all of the yummy desserts and carb-tastic side dishes, I tend to put my cares aside. This year I promised myself that I will make a better effort and keep my health in mind. Here are a few tips to remain health conscious this Thanksgiving but still allow you to enjoy your holiday.
1. Drink plenty of water. We should be consuming on average 8-10 cups of water a day. Sometimes we may confuse thirst for hunger. Try to drink a full glass of water before your Thanksgiving meal. You’d be surprised at how you might not overindulge as much. Also, maybe take some sips in between bites. Waterlogged is a great app that helps you to track your daily water intake. It will even send you a notification reminding you to drink some water!
2. Variety and portion control. I know from experience how hard it is not to fill your plate with mostly stuffing and mashed potatoes… then a little bit of turkey and a few spoonfuls of vegetables. When serving yourself, keeping this tip in mind will help you to satisfy your taste buds by have a little bit of everything, therefore not going overboard.
3. Don’t overload your plate. When everything is passed around the table, try not to create food mountains. If you want seconds you can always do so. There are times when I feel as if my eyes are bigger than my stomach, and when I stuff my plate I feel obligated to finish it all even if I’m super full. So, first make yourself a nice dinner plate, and if you’re still hungry, then go for the second plate (keeping in mind tip #2 as well).
4. Pick and choose. Let’s say you had a little bit of everything; turkey, potatoes, bread, cranberry sauce, vegetables, etc, and you are still yearning for more. Pick the healthier option. Yes, potatoes are vegetables, but I know my mom prepares them with tons of butter and salt. So, I would pick maybe more turkey instead of the potatoes. Or if you really want a slice of bread, leave out the butter. Little changes like these can go a long way.
5. Make healthier choices the days before and after. Thanksgiving is no surprise, we are well aware of the types of foods we are going to eat and how much of it we will have. The few days before Thanksgiving, I plan to be stricter with my diet than normal. I will make sure I stay within my 2000-calorie goal, and not exceed my fat and carbohydrate intake. This will make me feel better about being a little more flexible than usual on the holiday. Then the next day, we might still be in that food-induced coma so we don’t even have to worry about that. Think of things you can do to be healthier the days prior to the big day.
6. Get up and get moving! Yes, this is our time to relax a little before major stress kicks in with finals and the end of the semester. But we can’t forget totally about our health. Plus, exercising is relaxing and stress relieving! Fit in some little exercises here and there. Recently, I use my puppies as an excuse to get out of the house and go for a short run. It also makes my mom happy that I’m relieving her of dog walking duty that day. There’s an app called The 7 Minute Workout which suggests short but effective exercises.
Overall, it’s hard to stay super strict with our diets and exercises during the holiday season… small changes can truly make a positive impact.
Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
“The groundwork of all happiness is health.”
-James Leigh Hunt
By: Cara Kaplan