7 Ways to Stay Healthy at Thanksgiving

Posted on November 21 2018

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, which means it's time to break out our favorite pair of stretchy pants! Turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and pies - oh my! Thanksgiving food comas are definitely all too real, and sometimes, after eating a delicious meal like that, it can seem like a strenuous task just to make it over to the couch. 

You may be wondering if it's possible to still enjoy Thanksgiving - without depriving yourself, and without that food coma feeling. Yes, it most definitely is! Indulging in the Thanksgiving goodness is entirely possible, and there are ways that you can do it without feeling guilty! Here are our top 7 tips to stay healthy - without feeling deprived - on Thanksgiving:

1. Choose Your Carbs Wisely

The traditional Thanksgiving meal has the perfect amount of carbs that will make your insulin levels spike and crash. Between the mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, rolls, pies, and alcohol, it's no wonder we all feel sluggish! Instead of eating both, opt for choosing mashed potatoes or some sweet potato casserole. Eating one instead of both can help you cut down on the calories. Or, for a healthier option - try a baked sweet potato or a roasted sweet potato slice. That way, you can save at least 400 calories and 60 grams of sugar!

2. Put in Produce

Everyone knows that your plate should have a variety of colors on it - in fact, it's been said that a properly balanced plate should contain the colors of the rainbow. Thanksgiving can be a little challenging meal to accomplish that. Foods that have vibrant colors are healthy and contain phytonutrients and antioxidants that our bodies need. Do whatever you can to indulge in some fruits and vegetables! Serve a green bean casserole made with fresh green beans, offer a simple salad to include greenery on your plate, put some celery, apples, cranberries, or carrots into your stuffing, and you can even offer bakes apples with cinnamon as a healthy and yummy dessert option!

3. 1/3 is Key!

Diving your plate into thirds helps you enjoy a bit of everything, without feeling deprived or overwhelmed. Thirds help to maintain balance. For instance, fill 1/3 of your plate with turkey, 1/3 with produce or vegetables, and 1/3 with carbs. It's a little more challenging to overdo it on the carbs if they all have to fit onto 1/3 of your plate.

4. Choose Water Over Alcohol

While a drink or two won't hurt, choosing water with any meal is always the healthiest option, and Thanksgiving is no different. Alcohol contains several calories, and health experts say that you never really want to drink your calories. If you want to have a few alcoholic drinks, alternate them with a glass of water. Doing so will keep you hydrated, improve digestion, keep you from feeling lethargic, and slow down your alcohol intake - all of which are good things.

5. Don't Overdo Dessert

Honestly, who doesn't love dessert? It's the cornerstone of every meal - especially on holidays! Pumpkin pie, apple pie, tollhouse pie, pecan pie (and, chances are there are more desserts!) - the options feel endless, and it can be easy to want to sample a little bit of everything. Choose one dessert option, that way you won't feel overstuffed. It's more than likely that there will be tons of leftovers, so you will still have plenty of time to sample any dessert that you haven't had. You can also choose to have pumpkin pie over pecan pie, as that saves around 200 calories and adds in more nutrients! Still not convinced? There are plenty of ways to substitute oil, flour, and sugar, and still create a delicious dessert! Google some healthy baking swaps and see what you can find!

6. Get Up, Get Active

Just because it's Thanksgiving doesn't mean that you can't exercise, and it doesn't mean that you can't have fun with it! Grab the family and play a friendly game of football, participate in a Turkey Trot run, go for a walk around the neighborhood, hit the gym before the big feast, or even create a mini boot camp for you and your family to get that metabolism started before settling down to eat!

7. Don't Quit!

Most importantly, don't give up! If you don't exercise on Thanksgiving morning, or end up indulging in a little too much at the dinner table, don't worry! There is plenty of ways to get back on track without adopting the attitude that you can't start over. Why wait until New Year's to work on your health, when every day is a brand new start? One day of unhealthy behaviors won't harm you, but several weeks in a row of them may add up, so keep in mind that while the holidays are a time for fun, festivities, and food, it's always good to continue keeping your health in check too!

All of us here at Mountainside Medical Equipment wish you and your families a very Happy Thanksgiving! Keep checking our website at www.mountainside-medical.com or sign up for our newsletter to be the first ones to know about the Black Friday deals coming your way!