7 Tips for a Healthy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving doesn’t have to leave you stuffed and bloated. | iStock/Getty Images

The following is a guest post by Monica Auslander Moreno, MS, RD, LD/N, nutrition consultant for RSP Nutrition.

Thanksgiving is only one day (and often one meal; unless you hop around to different family events). Go in with a plan and you’ll be more likely to stick to it, rather than just throwing caution to the wind and feeling guilty afterward.

1. Get moving

You’re off work. Get up and take a fitness class. Many studios are open for their morning workouts. If you’re not into group fitness, a quick jog or home workout video will ensure you move your body so you don’t feel so bad lazing about the rest of the day.

2. Get creative with old recipes

Your most cherished family recipes can be enhanced. Stuffing can be made with quinoa, yogurt, cashews, and spices (instead of white bread crumbs). You can even add protein powders for an added boost. For example, RSP Nutrition TrueFit protein powder in vanilla can be folded into baked pies, muffins, cupcakes, and cookies to increase the protein, fiber, probiotic, and vitamin/mineral content of the dish. You can boil cranberries with lemon and chia instead of using canned, processed cranberry sauce. The possibilities are endless, and you don’t have to compromise your most time-honored traditions.

3. Don’t drink your calories

It’s easy to drink an entire six pack of cocktails by yourself throughout the long holiday. Set a budget to drink as many drinks as a turkey has legs (two) and switch to sparkling water or hot apple cinnamon spice tea thereafter.

4. Limit sweets

In reality, you probably only love one or two desserts being served; the others may just be visually appealing. Have a modest piece of your top one or two favorites and serve yourself some fruit salad and tea on the side to round it out with fiber and fluid to optimize digestion.

5. Send leftovers home with friends and family

You don’t need to nibble on muffins for five days after Thanksgiving. Hoard the leftover turkey, the leftover salads/veggies, and the fun sauces. Send the carbohydrates home with your friends and family.

6. Eat before the big celebration

If you’re starving upon arrival, you’ll eat all the appetizers and binge on dinner. Have breakfast, and lunch, depending on your schedule. I even pack a snack with me since sometimes you’re summoned to someone’s house at 4 p.m. but they don’t serve food until 7 p.m. or later! Bring something portable and packed with protein/fiber to balance your blood sugar and keep you full.

7. Take a family walk after the meal

Don’t sit around after dinner. Instead of zombie-shuffling to the TV, take a brisk walk with your friends and family (you can even bring the dogs). This will help your body mobilize some of those calories and help improve digestion. You’ll also feel less “food coma” side effects.

Read more: HelloFresh Head Chef Claudia Sidoti Shares Her Best Thanksgiving Recipes

Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!