Unlike the turkey, you don’t need to be stuffed this Thanksgiving weekend. Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holiday season, which is inevitably associated with heavy overeating, ultimately leading to weight gain. Registered dietician Kristen Kizer explained, “Lack of sleep, an abundance of decadent food, and the stress of the holidays are the perfect storm for weight gain. Remind yourself how it feels to overeat and implement a personal wellness plan to get you through the holiday season without adding to your waistline.”
For starters, reduce the amount of food you prepare. For example, instead of making 14 dishes cut that down to almost half. Not only will this save you time and money but it will reduce leftovers, too.
Kizer added, “Holiday meals are typically heavy in carbohydrates, so try reducing your carb consumption for the day by replacing mashed potatoes with mashed cauliflower. Your guests probably won’t even notice the difference.”
Although many of us will be enjoying sweet potatoes this weekend, avoid adding marshmallows or brown sugar. Opt for healthier green beans with a low-fat cheese, as opposed to the traditional high-fat variety.
Kizer recommends, “Substitute natural applesauce for oil or butter in your dessert recipes. This simple ingredient swap not only adds moisture and flavor to baked goods, but fiber and nutrients.”
Lastly, either opt for alcohol or dessert, but avoid combining both, as together they can add unnecessary calories.
“Get plenty of sleep. Getting less than six hours of sleep a night causes cravings for starchy, sugary foods and dissolves your resolve to make healthy food decisions. Most health experts recommend at least seven hours of sleep a night to feel fully rested,” Kizer concluded.
In addition to these healthy eating tips, always make time to exercise – maybe a family game of outdoor football?