As Thanksgiving approaches, many of us begin to wonder how to stay on track over the holidays.
Balance is key when it comes to a successful healthy lifestyle. If you remember the 80:20 rule, this is the perfect place to apply it. Although it is so important to eat well and be mindful of your food choices, it is equally important to have a healthy relationship with food and to allow yourself to eat off plan every so often.
With the 80:20 rule in mind, you can still be on track 80% of the time, while leaving room for some treats and extras over the holidays.
Some tips to consider to help you enjoy a healthy and balanced Thanksgiving meal.
Eat a healthy breakfast.
Start your day right and avoid going into your Thanksgiving meal hungry. This can lead to overeating and binging at dinner.
Watch the heavy carbs.
Swap the heavier carb dishes with lighter, grain-free alternatives. Rather than eliminating all your Thanksgiving favourites, pick one or two dishes that you love and focus on the protein and vegetables for the rest of your meal.
Load up on veggies.
Aim to fill half your plate with a variety of vegetables, including roasted Brussels sprouts, steamed broccoli, roasted cauliflower, green beans or salads.
Skip the sauce.
Thanksgiving dinner is often accompanied with heavy, sugary sauces such as gravy and cranberry sauce. Try to skip these extras or limit them to 1 teaspoon.
Limit your alcohol.
If you want to enjoy a couple of glasses of wine at dinner – no problem! Save your alcohol intake for that night and cut it the rest of the week. Increased alcohol can cause you to eat more, so aim for no more than 2 drinks at dinner.
Take some Thanksgiving leftovers home with you to enjoy at lunch. Eating heavier foods earlier in the day will allow your body the time it needs to properly digest your meal.
Don’t go to bed full.
When it comes to losing weight, a key rule is giving yourself at least two to three hours between your last meal and getting into bed. This allows your body the time to digest your food properly so you don’t go to bed full. If you have a heavy, late dinner, try going for a walk rather than getting straight into bed or lying on the couch.
Drop the guilt!
It is so important to enjoy the food you eat. If you have a favourite dish, make the choice to eat and enjoy it and drop the guilt!
Here are some easy and healthy swaps to help lighten up your Thanksgiving meal
- Mashed potatoes –> Parsnip or cauliflower mash
**or try ½ mashed potatoes and ½ cauliflower mash to lighten up the dish
- Dark meat –> white meat
- White potatoes –> Crispy sweet potatoes
- Stuffing –> Try a healthier stuffing recipe
- Sugary cakes and pie –> fresh fruit
Healthy eating is not all or nothing so most importantly be sure to just enjoy the holiday with your friends and family. Happy Thanksgiving!
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