Ah, Thanksgiving. A holiday filled with family, gratitude, and food, food, food! An interesting statistic about the day: an average plate of Thanksgiving classics contains anywhere from 1,600-3,000 calories — that's over most people's recommended daily allowance. While I am not trying to deter anyone from enjoying a great meal that can take hours, even days, to make, there are ways to make sitting down at the Thanksgiving table healthier.
- Don't skip breakfast. Whatever the day, whatever the occasion — don't skip breakfast. Missing the first meal of the day slows down your metabolism, which causes your body to store more calories later, and you may end up gorging at dinner because you're extra hungry. Besides a hungry person is a grumpy person, which is no fun on a holiday!
- Give your plate a healthy makeover. Besides candied yams, creamy green bean casserole, and mashed potatoes, vegetables tend to be noticeably absent in many Thanksgiving meals. Make sure to throw in a salad or a side dish of fresh green beans or Brussels sprouts, or give classic dishes a healthy twist.
- Socialize at the table (and don't forget to chew). I have seen too many heads on Thanksgiving pointed straight down at a plate while eating at warp speed. Talking to your friends and family will encourage you to slow down and not overeat, as will chewing. And the better you chew your food, the better your body will digest it.
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- Practice portion control. Thanksgiving plates often resemble small food mountains — people just pile it on! Give yourself reasonable portions of each food. Use a smaller plate, or don't feel the need to fill a big one and eat everything off of it. But if you're still worried about having too much of a good thing, just have a small taste of the unhealthiest foods, and only splurge on a full portion of one of these dishes.
- If you're full, save dessert for later. After such a big meal, dessert may be too much. Make a small plate for yourself to enjoy later — even the next day.
Source: Flickr user nathanborror