Your Thanksgiving Day Survival Guide

We all like to think of the holidays as everyone’s favorite time of year, where families get together over delicious food to share stories and make memories. In actuality, while the holidays are a great time, if everyone is being honest, the holidays are full of chaos, stress, over-eating and the occasional screaming match between over-involved loved ones.

Yes, we all do enjoy the holidays, and Thanksgiving is the kick-off holiday function for the months of more holidays to come. One of the biggest stressors of the holiday season? Food and weight gain. The solution? The best offense is a good defense- a plan to keep those creepy calories at bay. Thanksgiving is, in a sense, an entire holiday based around one gigantic meal, but with a well-laid plan in place, you’ll be able to make it through Turkey Day without your elastic pants.

Chug, Chug, Chug Water. Classic advice, and it’s still true on Thanksgiving. Water in your belly will keep it full on zero-calorie H2O and water in your system will keep you hydrated, so you won’t mistake thirst for hunger.

Get in a Workout BEFORE Dinner. Saying you’ll workout Thanksgiving night or the following morning probably won’t be enough to let you indulge on those extra pieces of pie on Thanksgiving- because you probably won’t make it when you’re bloated after overeating all day. Getting your workout in before the meal will not only keep you feeling good enough to say no to pecan pie, but you will have definitely burnt off the calories in case you do give into it’s calling.

Bring Your Own Dessert. If you know for a fact that you are unable to resist the sweet stuff, make your own healthy dessert to bring along. You’ll earn brownie points from the host, and you can have an extra helping without worry. Try our Weight Watcher’s Pumpkin Pie or Chef Rocco’s Sweet Potato Pie.

Skip the Cocktails. At most holiday celebrations, I would say to stick to low-calorie cocktails, but Thanksgiving is a lazy sort of holiday. No one is dancing the night away- everyone is plopped on the couch, zoned into the TV watching football. Alcohol isn’t necessary when you’ll be in bed by 5:00 pm anyway, so skip the extra calories.

Stay Away From Beige. Except for the turkey, stay away from beige foods. Think about it: Beige Thanksgiving fare tends to be high calorie, or nutritionally void (mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls, stuffing, etc.) and brightly colored fruits and veggies are low-calorie and great for you. It’s a good blanket rule to eat by, no matter what day of the year it is.

Get Out of the House. Be a life saver and volunteer to take all the rowdy kids on a walk while the grown-ups make dinner. You’ll be a hero in the kitchen, the fun relative to the kids, and it’s a one-two punch for waistline: you can’t mindlessly munch waiting for dinner to be served, and you’ll burn a few extra calories to boot.

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