If you’ve worked hard all year to build healthy eating habits, you might be dreading the holidays. Buttery mashed potatoes, cinnamon and spiced pumpkin pies, rich gravy-drenched turkey leg drumsticks all sound amazing, until you realize just how far a holiday overindulgence can set you back in your weight loss progress. While we certainly don’t think you should deprive yourself of your favorite holiday treats, establishing a plan to prevent yourself from overindulging can help make sure you can keep the body you’ve been working hard on through the holidays.
Try these 7 amazing turkey day hacks to get you through Thanksgiving dinner while on a diet.
1. Eat before Thanksgiving dinner
Are you one of those people who forgoes breakfast and lunch, so you are super hungry for the Thanksgiving feast? Experts say this is a recipe for overeating. Pre-game your turkey day feast by having a low-calorie, protein rich snack before the meal. Snack on some almonds, pack some hummus and veggies and chow down on a hardboiled egg. Plan ahead, so you’re not starving before the big feast.
2. Trade your stretchy leggings for a form fitting outfit
Dress to impress your friends and family on the big day. Save your jeggings for another weekend and bust out your skinny jeans or a bodycon dress. Psychologically, you will not eat as much if you are wearing form-fitting clothing because you will start to feel uncomfortable more quickly than if you were wearing loose fitting garments.
3. Make healthy alternatives
If you are the host for the big feast, consider making healthy alternatives to your favorites. If you love yams, make a healthy alternative to the butter soaked, marshmallow-topped Thanksgiving yams by swapping the butter for an egg and the marshmallows for some crunchy pecans. If mashed potatoes are your favorite, make half-mashed potatoes by mixing half potato, half cauliflower.
4. Head to the end of the line
Experts say a heading to the back of the buffet line can help you eat less. This is because food will look less enticing once it has been picked over. Resist the urge to get the first choice of turkey meat this year.
5. Be picky
Most of us have an idea of how we want a specific Thanksgiving favorite to taste before we bite into it. If you are on a diet, now is the time to be picky about what foods you eat. If you bite into a spoonful of stuffing and it is just “meh,” don’t eat it!
6. Decide on dessert or booze
Booze and dessert both pack a powerful punch of sugar to your stomach. Decide at the beginning of the gathering if you’d rather have booze or dessert, but not both.
7. Use the meal ender
If you have a hard time stopping when you feel full, come up with a finishing move that will keep you from continuing to eat. Maybe it’s crumbling up your napkin onto your plate or pouring some of your drink onto your food – whatever it is, make sure to use it when you feel full.
Obese and overweight adults are 18% more likely to die from heart disease or stroke. For more information on how to develop healthy eating and living habits, contact our Covington weight loss clinic.