With Thanksgiving less than 3 weeks away, you see the grocery stores packed with pumpkin pies, turkey and sweet potatoes.  Just thinking about Thanksgiving dinner makes my mouth water.  Everyone loves Thanksgiving, but we never love how we feel afterwards.  The average Thanksgiving meal packs on an  additional 2000 calories in your day.  And then there are the leftovers which we nibble on for the next week which add more calories to our weekly regimen.  The end result is lugging around another 5 pounds or more, which we didn’t want to gain.  So how can you keep it in check this Thanksgiving and prevent yourself from gaining weight?  Use these tips to have a happy, healthy holiday without packing on the pounds.

  1. You Be the Cook.  When you get to take control and cook for Thanksgiving you can control what food is served and how it is prepared.  Learning how to cut calories out of food and switching to low fat or fat free alternatives is a great way to cut calories.  It is a great idea to brush your turkey lightly with olive oil and sprinkle a seasoning mixture on top and bake it.  Try this instead of coating with butter and deep frying it.
  2. Eat Breakfast and a Snack Before Dinner.  Don’t starve yourself all day because you know you are going to eat a big Thanksgiving meal.  Make sure you eat a healthy breakfast with some lean protein and complex carbohydrates.  If you are eating at noon, be sure to eat a healthy snack like a piece of fruit or unsalted nuts before dinner.  This will help to keep you satisfied throughout the day so you do not overeat at dinner.
  3. Load up on the Vegetable Tray.  Before eating the turkey and all the sides, load up on the vegetable tray.  Eating lots of greens like celery, cucumbers and green beans is a great filler so you will eat less of the high calorie, high fat foods.
  4. Drink Lots of Water While Indulging.  Instead of sipping on a glass of wine during dinner, drink lots of water instead.  This will save an additional 400 calories or more.  The water also helps to fill you up faster.
  5. Portion control.  Keep everything in moderation.  Self control is the key here.  Make sure you keep the turkey and stuffing and potatoes to a serving size.  A good rule of thumb is a deck of cards is a 3oz portion of turkey and the size of a woman’s fist is a cup of vegetables.
  6. Know your desserts.  If you know you are saving room for dessert, make sure you don’t over indulge on the turkey and stuffing.  Plan ahead for your dessert.  Stick to the pumpkin pie as opposed to the pecan pie which is higher in calories.
  7. Plan a walk after dinner.  Instead of letting the tryptophan (amino acid that plays a role in the synthesis of serotonin, a hormone that can affect sleep) kick in, plan a walk right after dinner.  This will help kick that food hangover feeling and help burn off some of those calories.

Learning to make healthy choices at all your holiday gatherings will help prevent you from packing on those extra unwanted pounds.  Make healthy eating a lifestyle, not a life alter.

Jodi Tiahrt is a fitness model and competitor who as competed in over 40 fitness,figure, bikini, and sports model competitions with 36 first placetitles.  She is also a certified personal trainer, nutritionist, pilatesinsturctor and fitness pole dance instructor with Bachelors of Science Degree in biology (Pre Med) with minors in chemistry and health science.