If you’re in the middle of a weight loss program, you probably know that you’re about to face the most difficult time of the year. The period from Thanksgiving through Christmas can be rough for many people in terms of their weight loss goals. In particular, Thanksgiving is known for its tendency to encourage gluttony, and it can be a challenge to approach the day with a healthy attitude.
Still, if weight loss is truly your goal, you need to make it your goal on Thanksgiving just as much as any other day of the year. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the day’s many wonderful tastes, it just means that you need to exercise a little bit of control.
Here are things you can do to make sure that Thanksgiving doesn’t entirely destroy your weight loss progress:
- Don’t save up your calories. If you skip breakfast and lunch in preparation for dinner on Thanksgiving, you’re going to overeat. Continue your regular routine of having a healthy breakfast, lunch and even your afternoon snack. This will help you to be able to practice portion control during the feast.
- Focus on veggies. Eat a salad, or load up on raw veggies like carrots and celery before you eat your main meal. This will help keep your appetite in check, and it will help you feel full as you approach dinnertime. Skip hors d’oeuvres entirely and opt for these kinds of healthy items instead.
- Watch out for fat content. There are foods that you’ll find on the Thanksgiving dinner table that are terribly high in fat, such as anything cream-based, as well as things like gravy. Avoid these kids of dishes. Most casseroles are going to fall into this category.
- Go easy on the alcohol. The calories in wine can add up fast. Stick to one glass, if your family drinks wine with their dinner. Drinking can actually increase your appetite, and can make you less likely to follow good portion control practices. Stick to water whenever possible.
- Watch out for the weekend nap. Consider replacing the lounging that you normally do on Thanksgiving with a football game in the yard or give yourself a shot at Black Friday shopping. Find something to burn off some calories instead of just sitting around.
- Enjoy the turkey. Turkey without skin or gravy is one of the best sources of lean protein you can find. Eat it with some brown rice or steamed veggies as leftovers, and you’ll have a balanced yet lo-calorie meal.