Tis the season to be thankful. With so many favorite Thanksgiving dishes around the table, it’s hard not to indulge. We make excuses when we reach for that second piece of pie, telling ourselves Thanksgiving is a once a year holiday, often forgetting that the holiday will come and go, but what we put in our bodies affects us forever.

This Thanksgiving, start a new tradition to stay healthy while enjoying family, fun, and food!  Try these tips to help stay fit and feeling great this Thanksgiving:

Eat Before the Feast

Balancing healthy habits while enjoying the festivities can be a struggle.  You don’t have to skip out on eating leading up to the big meal to save on calories.  Depriving yourself, knowing high-calorie foods await later, will only cause stress to your body and you’re still likely to overeat!  Make sure you have breakfast so that you have energy for the day and healthy snacks when needed.  Filling up on appetizers that are healthy, like soup and salad, will also help curb your appetite, giving you the opportunity to enjoy the foods that are more seasonal and thanksgiving themed. 

Have a Game Plan

Decide during set up or when you arrive where you are going to sit at the Thanksgiving table (in front of which foods) as well as what you are going to be doing during the gathering.  Keep moving instead of sitting for a long time watching the parade or football.  Lend a hand with the prep or clean up, which is sure to keep you active and even burn some calories pre/post feast!  You can also use a smaller plate when it comes to meal time, which makes going for seconds lighter on your stomach. 

Commit to an After Feast Activity

Once your holiday gathering gets underway, announce that you are going to have an after dinner walk and ask if anyone would like to join.  This way, you have made a commitment you can’t get out of after the food coma kicks in!  Post-meal walks as short as 15 minutes have been shown to help with digestion and improve blood sugar levels.

Take it Easy on the Liquid Calories

During the festivities, it’s easy to fill up on that extra glass of wine or beer with our loved ones.  We’re usually having such an enjoyable time, we forget that these calories add up!  Watch out for those liquid calories that sneak in over a prolonged meal or get together.  Strive for balance with having one glass of water to hydrate for each holiday drink you enjoy.  Your body will thank you!

Put a Twist on Your Favorite Dish

Get creative and make a healthier version of your favorite dishes.  Swap out that green bean casserole for a green bean salad, or if you’re feeling really daring, try our CoreLife Pumpkin Parfait instead of a classic pumpkin pie.  Just because you’ve adopted healthier habits, doesn’t mean you have to deny yourself your favorite foods or dishes.  With all of the alternate ingredients available these days, there are so many options to swap and save on calories without sacrificing flavor!  Who knows, you just might like your new and improved recipe better than the original!

Remember, you’ve been training for Thanksgiving since you started CoreLife!  If you ever feel like you are lost in how to approach a challenging scenario in a healthy way or aren’t sure about the nutritional content of a recipe, you can always reach out to your dietitian or your CoreLife community (CoreLife Facebook Support Group).