Here we are again! It’s almost Thanksgiving and we all know what that means…
Football, family, brisk weather (except here in this California sun…), and WAY too much food and alcohol, leaving us with bloated bellies, tired eyes, and full of regret…
I personally love Thanksgiving, but I like to keep things relatively healthy…
Before you stop reading, don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you that you can’t have grandma’s famous pumpkin pie or Aunt Betty’s stuffing…
But I am going to show you 7 SUPER easy “hacks” to keep your holiday healthy, without you feeling deprived…
You can still enjoy yourself, but not feel like there’s a 20 lb. brick sitting in your stomach the rest of the evening.
Hack #1: DO NOT skip meals to “save up” for the big feast.
As logical as this may sound, it actually will throw off your blood sugar levels and leave you feeling ravenous…so by the time you get to the meal you’ll be shoving your face without taking a breath, causing you to severely overeat. (IF you want to promote some serious fat storage, you can go this route…otherwise I strongly advise against it)
With that being said, what you do want to do is make sure you avoid starchy carbohydrates (oats, rice, bread, crackers, potatoes, etc.) until the Thanksgiving meal.
Here are some great protein and fat based snacks below that will be great options to keep you satiated until the big meal:
Hack #2: Eat a well-balanced breakfast focused on protein, fat, and non-starchy vegetables
This goes hand-in-hand with hack #1…you want to make sure you are eating throughout the day to keep blood sugar levels stable and hunger at bay, but you don’t want to load up on the carbs.
Here are a few of my favorite healthy breakfasts that are focused on protein and fat:
Hack #3: Get in some form of exercise early in the day
Before you get to the cooking or football watching, make sure you do something active! Go for a brisk 20-30 minute walk or get in a quick strength training workout. You don’t even need to leave the house! Try this super simple at home workout before you eat your breakfast:
Complete each exercise for 10-15 repetitions, and then complete the entire workout for 2-3 rounds
- Push-ups (from knees or from feet)
- Mountain Climbers
- Bodyweight Squats
- Glute Bridges
- Stationary Lunges
Hack #4: Hold off on the drinking until later in the day
I know, I know…you want to cut loose a little and enjoy yourself and that’s totally fine, but if you can hold off on drinking until later in the afternoon you will be doing yourself a huge favor. If you are drinking, try something a little more healthful like organic California red wine and stick to no more than 2 glasses!
I actually like to use “Mocktails” as an alcohol alternative. They mimic the look and feel of drinking without the negative side effects. Not to mention, nobody else will even notice it isn’t “real” alcohol! Here are two of my favorites:
Hack #5: If you have dietary restrictions, bring a dish or appetizer that will be suitable for you
It’s the WORST when you are in a situation where you are forced to eat things that you know don’t agree with you. For me personally, being sensitive to dairy and wheat poses many challenges during the holidays and family gatherings.
To avoid having digestive distress, bring an appetizer or dish that will be suitable for you to eat. You don’t have to tell people that it’s gluten or dairy free or whatever it is, most of the time they won’t even notice!
Here are my absolute favorite gluten-free thanksgiving recipes, people will LOVE them and they won’t notice that they have been “healthified”:
- Gluten Free Stuffing (gluten and dairy free)
- Twice Baked Cauliflower Mash (gluten free, vegetarian)
- Roasted Butternut Squash With Cherries and Feta (gluten free, vegetarian)
Hack #6: Stay well hydrated
The last thing we’re usually thinking about on Thanksgiving is drinking enough water…we want to drink beer and indulge in all of the amazing food, HOWEVER, not staying properly hydrated will set you up for failure. Many times when we think we’re hungry, we’re actually thirsty. To avoid overeating and suffering from the side effects of dehydration, make it a priority to drink a glass of water every hour or two. (especially if you’re drinking alcohol because it acts as a diuretic)
Hack #7: No deprivation!
You don’t have to deprive yourself of enjoying this day just because you want to stay healthy. The most important thing is to keep your portions in check. When making your plate, take a little bit of everything that you want but just have smaller portions. Eat slowly, chew your food, and put your fork down between each bite. Allow 20 minutes to go by before you decide if you want seconds. Take a slice of pie or your favorite dessert but savor every bite and engage your senses for the experience! Allow yourself to indulge and don’t feel guilty…if you deprive yourself and think you did good, I promise that it will backfire and you’ll be seeking that indulgence somewhere else (only this time it will be uncontrollable).
From my heart to yours, have a VERY happy and healthy Thanksgiving!
For more healthy lifestyle “hacks”, make sure you download my FREE Metabolism Secrets Guide!
Watch the video on this topic!