- Eat Breakfast: Start a healthy Thanksgiving with a big bountiful breakfast like hot whole-grain cereal and an egg-white omelet brimming with veggies. That’s because saving up calories for the big meal rarely works. You end up “spending” a lot more by overindulging on belly busters like a full ladle of gravy (about 800 calories!) instead of a tablespoon-size taste (70 calories).
- Pitch In: Call your host and say, “I’d love to bring something. What are you planning on serving?” If you discover that one of the dishes is particularly unhealthy, offer to bring your own version. Sweet potatoes, for example, can be real killers – full of butter, syrup, and marshmallows. Here's an alternative way to cook them: Just bake the yams in foil at 400 degrees F until their syrupy juice starts to seep out, usually about one hour. Then, peel and layer them with pineapple slices and a little cinnamon.
- Know Yourself: For most of us, there’s a certain part of the meal that gives us the most trouble. For some, it’s alcohol. For others, it may be dessert.
Devise a strategy.
Position Yourself Well: Don’t put yourself right in front of the candy dish. Who needs the agony? Plant yourself elsewhere, facing other pleasures – a nice fire, warm smiles, good tunes and a dance floor. You’ll have a much better time, and you’ll like yourself a lot more come morning.
- Divide Your Plate Well: Fill your plate half with vegetables, one quarter with white turkey meat, and the rest with a healthy starch, like corn on the cob, a baked potato, or sweet potatoes.
- Savor Every Bite: Eat slowly, putting your fork down between bites, and really savor each mouthful. It’s one of the easiest ways to enjoy your holiday meal without going overboard on calories.
- Do What You Want; No One's Watching: People often think that if they say “no” to certain dishes, everyone notices, or the host is insulted, when in fact there’s a very good chance no one notices. Just play it down. Simply say, “No thanks, I’m full,” or “Try me later.” Then, sit back and enjoy the rest of your healthy Thanksgiving Day.
- Start Thanksgiving With Physical Activity – And Stay Active: Take a walk early in the day. And after dinner, suggest everyone go out (if the weather permits) for a neighborhood stroll. What a wonderful way for families to enjoy the holiday together.
- Keep Your Goals Firmly In Mind: Before leaving for the party, steal away for a little quiet time to focus on you, only you. Take a few deep breaths, and remind yourself of your ultimate vision – a leaner you, a healthier you, a happier you. Then, tell yourself, “It’s going to be a great evening with family and friends!” Julia Child (of all people) said it best: “Life is the proper binge.”