Molly McNamee | Tips For Surviving Thanksgiving Dinner
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Tips For Surviving Thanksgiving Dinner

It is exactly ONE WEEK until Thanksgiving. Can you believe how fast this year has flown? I literally feel like we were all just celebrating the New Year! But, we are going full force into 2015 now! And just because it is “holiday season,” I don’t want any of you to get off track from your fitness and health journey. So, here are a few tips on how to “survive” Thanksgiving dinner. Thanksgiving only comes around once a year, so I don’t want you to deprive yourself, but there is also no reason to stuff yourself until you feel like a big balloon that is about to pop!

Tip #1: Have a protein rich breakfast. Do NOT skip meals earlier in the day to “save the calories for later”. Although it is tempting to stuff your face for one meal and then go sleep it off, it is much healthier to keep your calories evenly scattered throughout the day.

Tip #2: Slow down, it’s not a race. Talk at the dinner table. Drink water frequently. Do not shove everything in your mouth in ten minutes and then go pass out. Pace yourself so you can tell when you are full.

Tip #3: Eat on a smaller plate. It’s pretty simple, smaller plates fit less food. Less food means you don’t eat as much!

Tip #4: Fill your plate with vegetables first. Then add in your lean protein (turkey) and smart carbohydrates. Load your plate with the stuff you know is good for you first, and then eat those things first once you sit down. Fill up on the good stuff, and then maybe you won’t have room for that third dinner roll.

Tip #5: Avoid anything that is boxed. You have so much time to prepare for Thanksgiving dinner, so don't be lazy. Skip the packaged foods because they are very processed and filled with extra sodium. Make your meals fresh, so you know exactly what you are eating. Skip the pre-made pies, cakes, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, stuffing... make it fresh!

Tip #6: Leftovers are okay. I know that some people hate having leftovers in their house, so they either waste food by throwing the remains away or stuff themselves so they don’t have anything left over. Leftovers are okay! It is inevitable that there will be some food leftover after a big holiday meal, so instead of trying to fill everyone at the table to the brim – accept the leftovers and use them to make healthy meals for the next week.

Tip #7: Thanksgiving is ONE day a year. That’s right, it is only one day. So enjoy your meal that ONE day and then put the pies and gravy aside. I said leftovers are okay, and I stand by that. But when you eat your leftovers, prepare them in a healthy way! Don’t sit down on black Friday and have another Thanksgiving dinner; that’s too much! One meal isn’t really going to hurt you, but two will set you up for three and then four bad meals, and eventually you will lose the healthy groove you had going. Eat one big meal, and then move on! I will be posting healthy leftover recipes – so keep an eye out for that!

Tip #8: Move! Help clean up after dinner - don't slump into the couch after desert is done.  Try to stay active the rest of the day. Burn off some of those calories.  Fight the food comma. Also, there isn't some special chemical in turkey that makes you want to sleep. That is a myth; so you don't get to use that excuse anymore!

Tip #9: It's okay. Like I said before, one meal isn't going to kill your progress.  If don't eat so great Thanksgiving Day, it's okay. But remember what I said - it is ONE DAY. I'm telling you now, if you don't jump right back into your routine after Thanksgiving you will be doomed until the new year - don't fall into the holiday season rut! But, enjoy your day and eat some good food!