Healthy Eating, Healthy Holiday

Top 5 Ways to Stay Healthy on Thanksgiving

The Holidays are a time to celebrate and relax, but some of us still have goals in mind to accomplish. How can we marry the two between relaxing yet enjoying? A little mindfulness and a little planning go a long way. 

It’s a Holiday, so expect some foods/items to be on your plate that aren’t usually, but with that being said here are the top 5 things you can do to stay mindful and on course with your goals this Thanksgiving according to a dietitian.

  1. Pay attention to hunger and fullness cues.

    Just because there’s a big lunch or dinner planned doesn’t mean we need to skip breakfast or snacks. Remember, if you are hungry, eat, and if you are full stop! Also, leftovers can be taken home, so if you don’t get to eat Aunt Sally’s super delicious casserole, take a piece home!

  2. Satisfy your hunger.

    There is a difference between satisfaction and fullness. Being full you physically feel in your stomach, but satisfaction is more mental. Check in with yourself to assess your hunger and satisfaction. Being satisfied with what we eat is just as important as being physically full, so eat that dessert! Some of these foods only come around once a year.

  3. Eat without distractions and fully engage your senses.

    Engaging in conversation is not a distraction, but if football is on or your phone is lighting up with notifications, those things are distractions. These items take our attention away from the delicious food in front of us and can distract us from realizing how much we have eaten. Enjoy your food without distractions and slow down to appreciate each taste, texture, and smell that come from each bite.

  4. Be active.

    No one said you need to run the holiday 5k, but if you want to definitely go for it. But what if we play outside with the kids, take a walk with friends or family, or even simply help with cooking or setting the table? These simple actions absolutely aid in increasing activity more naturally.

  5. Remove food guilt.

    While yes we might eat too much or we might have more sweets than we planned on, as much as possible try not to have food guilt. Be kind to yourself and reverse any negative self-talk. The sun always rises and we get to start again the next day, so try to fully enjoy the holiday and move on. One meal doesn’t make or break our success, but our attitude might. Getting away from the all or none mentality does wonders for giving us opportunity to work on consistency instead of giving up as soon as we hit a challenge. Be forgiving of yourself and think of the great thing you do after a big meal. It becomes easier to go to that next meal with more resolve to staying on top of your health goals. 

While these are less concrete “rules” than you may find elsewhere, they also allow for more food freedom while still achieving your goals. We want you to enjoy your holiday while still reaching your goals and these five steps are one way to go about it. 

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