Thanksgiving is almost here, and every year we ALL indulge a little bit too much and absolutely regret it later. We feel full, tired, overstuffed, and if you’re like me, you don’t typically consider the calorie consumption until later and say “what have I done?!”, haha! Did you know the average Thanksgiving meal has us eating 3,000 calories in one sitting?! That’s right, 1 and a half times what our DAILY recommended intake is! This year, thanks to my sponsor Jacob Bustos, I have 5 of the most fabulous tips to help you avoid the food coma this Thanksgiving.
Tip #1 – Water, water, water!
You should drink plenty of water throughout the day as it is, but it’s ESPECIALLY important on Thanksgiving. Drinking water throughout the day, and during or after your Thanksgiving meal, will help aid your digestion. Water helps to break down food so that your body can absorb the nutrients and digest the meal at a faster pace.
Tip #2 – Use more fruits and veggies in your meal planning
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends filling half of your plate with fruits and vegetables at each meal, and your Thanksgiving meal is no different! Fruits and vegetables are more packed with nutrients and lower in calories than many of the heavier food options we typically serve on Thanksgiving, so offering a wide variety of fruit and vegetable based dishes will help lower your caloric intake while the natural fiber will help keep you full, leading to less snacking on leftovers throughout the day.
Tip #3 – Indulge on the lighter side
No matter what dishes are being served at your Thanksgiving dinner, it is possible to indulge and have some of everything. The key of course is moderation. Rather than have a few full plates of various dishes and sides, settle for one full plate with a small serving of all the foods you want to enjoy so you don’t break your calorie bank, so to speak. With smaller portions, you still get to enjoy all the great flavor without feeling the food coma or regret later.
Tip #4 – Make sure you eat breakfast!
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and I know you’ll be tempted to skip breakfast on Thanksgiving to “save room for later” but don’t! If you stick to your normal meal routine, you’ll stay full and satisfied all day long, making you less likely to ‘pig out’ at the dinner table. Eating a hearty meal in the morning keeps your appetite in check the rest of the day so you can enjoy the Thanksgiving spread in moderation because you won’t feel starved by the time food is served.
Tip #5 – Substitute the bad stuff
There are a number of ways you can either substitute the bad stuff or compromise on portion size. Rather than fattening cream or milk in your mashed potatoes, go for a lighter dish and use a chicken or vegetable stock for the added liquid. Want to serve your favorite pie but don’t trust yourself to stop at just one slice? Make smaller versions of your favorite pies with ramekins for smaller portion sizes, and you can even skip the crust to cut more calories! Another great way to make substitutions is simply removing the skin from your turkey which will drastically reduce the fat and calorie count in your serving of that beautiful Thanksgiving bird.
I know I’ll be following all of these great tips this Thanksgiving to help maintain the 55 lbs I lost last year and stay feeling my best this Thanksgiving.