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Honestly, the best way to have a healthy Thanksgiving is just to use a bit of common sense!  It’s one day out of 365 in the year.  Our celebration is centered around family and food, there is no reason to restrict yourself to a few carrot sticks and water.  On the other hand, there is also no reason to eat to the point of physical illness.  Here’s a few tips on how to stay healthy and happy on Thanksgiving Day and through the rest of the holiday season.

Have a Healthy Thanksgiving by breaking the fast

Whether you are doing all the cooking or just picking up ice on your way to the party, don’t try to do it on an empty stomach.  If you have a breakfast with a bit of fat & protein, that feeling of fullness will keep you from sampling your way through hours of food prep or pigging out at the appetizer tray.

Have a Healthy Thanksgiving by working in a workout

Turkey trot 5K’s are becoming very popular in many areas, see if your town hosts one.  You don’t have to be a runner, most are open to walkers and participants often sport all sorts of crazy costumes.  Or hit the gym for a pre-turkey group exercise class or stop in for some time in the weight room.  Organize a family football game.  Just get moving so you can start your dining with a bit of a calorie deficit.

Have a Healthy Thanksgiving by reworking the recipes

Some family members may insist on calorie & fat laden casseroles and desserts just like Grandma always made, but some smart substitutions could keep everyone healthier in the long run and your family might even find some new favorites!  Healthy Thanksgiving recipes abound on the internet, do a quick search before you hit the grocery with your shopping list.

Have a Healthy Thanksgiving by portioning a smaller plate

Serve yourself on a small plate, try just a bit of everything, and avoid heading back to the buffet for more.  Take time to really enjoy the meal and the company.  Save room for some small servings of desserts and use the same strategy.

Have a Healthy Thanksgiving by bagging the doggie bag

If you are hosting, try to prepare just enough food to avoid leftovers.  If you are a guest, politely decline any leftovers your host offers.  One day of eating above your needs won’t tank your healthy eating plan, but a week of lunching on leftovers might.