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5 Tips to a Thinner Thanksgiving

You’ve just finished inhaling your dinner.  Not just any dinner but Thanksgiving dinner, which you look forward to all year.  You threw caution to the wind as you gorged on sweet potatoes with marshmallows and stuffing covered in gravy.  Now you have to unbutton your pants in an attempt to even breathe.

Sound familiar?  Thanksgiving, by nature, is a recipe for over eating.  You wait 364 days for this meal, its commonly served buffet style, and the traditional “staples” are loaded with calories.

Last year, ABC News revealed some disturbing stats about America’s time-old tradition.  “The Average American consumes 3000 calories during the Thanksgiving meal plus another 1500 on snacks and drinks…That’s 4500 calories in all, and about 45% of them come straight from fat,” according to the Calorie Counting Council.

Before you have a heart attack and tell Grandma you’re not coming (I swear that wasn’t my intention!), here are 5 tips that will you help you have a thinner Thanksgiving!

  1. Eat Breakfast- It is a common misconception that you should starve all day in order to save up room (and calories) for the big meal.  In fact, if you’re hungry, you’re more likely to overeat.  Instead, have a healthy breakfast containing protein and fiber, to curb your appetite and get your day started off on the right foot.  Try scrambled egg whites with a piece of whole grain toast. 
  2. Go Easy on Alcohol- Alcohol is usually the forgotten calorie source.  But those glasses of wine you’re self-medicating with in order to make family conversation more tolerable, add up!  Alternate sips of wine with water and avoid high-sugar juice mixers
  3. Portion Control- When Thanksgiving is served buffet style its easy to load up your plate, and feel compelled (or inclined) to finish everything.  But your eyes are often bigger than your stomach.  Go into the buffet with a portion plan.  Your serving of protein (turkey most likely) should be approximately the size of your hand.  Serving of starches like potatoes or sweet potatoes should be only half the size of your palm.  And use the rest of your plate for green vegetables – brussel sprouts for the win!
  4. Bring Healthy Alternatives- Don’t feel left out Thanksgiving.  Bring healthy options that you too, can enjoy.  Offer to bake these pumpkin donuts...I promise, they won't even know they're paleo!
  5. Enjoy the Company!  In an effort to get all of the food safely into our mouths, we forget to enjoy the company of family and friends.  After all, Thanksgiving is all about coming together with family and friends to enjoy a meal.  Talk with guests and be present in the conversation, slowly savoring your food.  I promise, the stuffing will not get up and leave your plate, if you stop to talk to your cousin.