Thanksgiving is the one meal of the year that may seem out of your control with how each dish is made and served. But there are ways you can remain in control by focusing on building a balanced plate. At the end of the day, I can’t promise there won’t be any food comas, but I can be certain you are capable of feeling guilt free! Keeping in mind the meaning behind Thanksgiving isn’t all about the food (I know that makes up most of the day; but make sure we are grateful for the food on our plates and those closest near in which we get to spend the day with). Now, let’s shift back to how to build a balanced and healthier Thanksgiving plate. Or should we say plate(s) knowing it’s a couple course meal. Which if its just like any other day of the year where we eat 5-6 times a day, this ONE day is making up less meals, but larger portion sizes.
- Don’t skip out completely on breakfast, start the day with an egg white omelet or a protein shake. Aiming for a high protein, low fat, low carbs.
- Get a workout in; Bodyweight at home or Gym, Exercise class, Turkey Trot/5K, even a walk work
- Fill up a water jug (gallon preferred) as all excuses including work and bathroom trips are eliminated for the day.
- For every alcohol beverage; double with water. Example: consuming a 12 oz. beer? Then go drink a 24 oz water glass.
- Appetizers will add up QUICKLY without you realizing it. Rather than picking at the large bowls, grab a small plate for yourself and progressively pick at your own plate. What isn’t measured, can’t be managed. Not necessary to weigh out your food during this moment, but you can eliminate those extra handfuls walking passed each time, creating this plate rule for self.
- When it comes to appetizers; Cheese/ sauces are calorically dense. Meaning, they have more calories than we think and easier to consume. Before you know it, your stomach is irritated before the main meal is served. (Focus on consuming more raw veggies, hummus, or fruit)
- Start with soup, this will allow you to slow down eating any other appetizers that may be served. Decide: bread w/ soup or cornbread w/ dinner; not both.
- Build a Balanced plate- Divide your plate, in three that is; half the plate in vegetables, one quarter turkey/meat, the other quarter starchy sides (the best, but most calorically dense sides, included mashes potatoes, stuffing, etc.)
- Portion Control- Using hands as a guide for visual guidance (Palm= Protein, Fist-veggies *the more the merrier, Cupped Hand=Carbs, Thumb= Fat or let’s say butter, sauces).
- Remember, the saying “eat the rainbow” on this holiday. Notice the colors that you put on your plate aiming for the more color = the more nutrient dense foods including but not limited to, squash, carrots, beets, Brussel sprouts, pomegranate.
- Take at LEAST 3; 10-minute walks throughout the day, meals. Not only to get those steps in, but allow aid in digestion process.
- Say YES to dessert if you WANT to. No reason to skip out on this part of the meal. Allow yourself to enjoy in a slice of pie, or a piece of pie if you want to pair it with a dessert or two. Give yourself ONE rule of thumb: NO SECONDS on dessert.
Go into this meal grateful, thankful, mindful.
Eat the slowest at the table.
Take sips of water in between bites.
Thanksgiving is ONE DAY, enjoy and indulge on the foods you find are “WORTH IT”
Stuffing your face is NOT worth the uncomfortable feeling on the couch the rest of the day
THERE WILL BE leftovers, and you can enjoy these too BUT back to logging them.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving FEAST, Guilt FREE.