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How To Thanksgiving Like A Dietitian

I love Thanksgiving. Great food and quality family time? I’m sold.

Thanksgiving is usually synonymous with overeating, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way.

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Let me share 7 simple, dietitian approved tips with you to help make your Turkey Day a little more waist-line friendly.

  1. Eat breakfast. This one is so important. Skipping breakfast will actually increase your chances of over eating later in the day- and also probably will cause you to be super hangry while prepping. Instead, try a breakfast with both complex carbs and protein to hold you over and avoid your body from thinking you are in starvation mode (i.e. time to eat everything I see). Some examples: eggs and whole wheat toast, oatmeal topped with peanut butter or nuts, greek yogurt and granola, or these chocolate chip pumpkin protein pancakes.
  2. Bring a dish. If you are playing the role of guest this Thanksgiving go ahead and ask the host what dish (or two) you can contribute. That way you know there will be at least one healthy option. Try bringing a side, like these almond green beans or savory baked apples For dessert give this vanilla pumpkin pudding a try.
  3. Get moving. Avoid the mid-afternoon horror of looking at your Fitbit and seeing you’ve only taken 1,000 steps. You don’t necessarily have to make it to the gym, try signing up for a Turkey Trot (this will be my family’s 6th year), take the dog for a walk, or check out PopSugar Fitness for tons of quick fitness videos.
  4. Be a Veg-Head. Fill about half of your plate with non -starchy veggies (think carrots, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, etc.) Watch how these veggies are prepared though, if they are doused with butter, take less. The other half should be split for starches (yams, potatoes, corn, rolls, stuffing) and protein (Skinless turkey breast is low in fat and calories)
  5. Be wary of grazing. I am the worst at this. A few bites here and there can add up quickly, tacking on a few hundred extra calories. Always be mindful of what you are eating.
  6. Don’t deprive yourself. If you love pumpkin pie, go ahead and have a slice. Just be aware of your portion size and remember to leave room during dinner. If you tell yourself you can’t have something- especially something you really want- you are more apt to crave it and have an extra large slice later.
  7. Enjoy it!!!! Even if you stick to all of these tips you may still overeat, at that is okay! Don’t punish yourself for it. Food is also meant for enjoyment. Agonizing over the fact that you’ve got a food baby going on can lead to stress, which can lead to, yet again, over eating. Be grateful to share a meal with loved ones.

Feel free to share any of your favorite healthy eating tips or favorite dishes.

Here’s to a happy and healthy turkey day!

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