Tips to enjoy Thanksgiving’s bounty in good health

Thanksgiving Health Tips

Thanksgiving heralds the start of the holiday season—and for most of us, the beginning of a six-week free-for-all of feasting, sweets and general overindulgence. But Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be the beginning of the end of your healthy eating habits. 

“Regardless of the exact number of calories we consume at Thanksgiving, we probably eat much too much,” says Muna Siddiqi, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator at Swedish Hospital. “But you don’t have to overeat if you pay attention. If you make thoughtful choices, you can enjoy your favorite foods without feaster’s remorse. Here are five tips I have successfully used to help my clients have a healthy Thanksgiving:”

1. Eat before you eat

Even on Thanksgiving Day, it’s important to plan for three meals over the course of the day, starting with a light but satisfying breakfast, like yogurt, fruit or cereal. “Saving up” all your calories for dinner will not only leave you feeling starved; you’ll be that much more likely to overindulge later. 

2. Exercise

Stick to your exercise routine. If your gym is closed, enjoy a brisk walk with family and friends. This is a good idea both before and after the big meal. And Galter LifeCenter will be open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day!

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Thanksgiving Tips

3. Pay attention to portions

Fill half your plate with fruits and veggies. And if there’s a buffet line, make only one trip. Check out all your options before making your final choices and make sure the calories you consume are worth it. Choose only those favorites you really want and keep your portions moderate. 

4. Think maintenance

Don’t try to diet during the holidays. Try to maintain your current weight. Given that the average person gains 10 pounds over the holidays, if you can stay where you are now, you’re doing better than most! 

5. Eat slowly—and enjoy

Savor your Thanksgiving traditions, and remember it’s not just about food. Enjoy family and friends and be thankful for all the day offers. 

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To schedule a nutrition counseling appointment at Swedish Hospital, call 773-878-6888.

By Bill Ligas | Published November 23, 2015

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