Did you know that on average, Americans consume 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving day? Yikes. Now here comes the part where we assure you that you don't need to become a statistic. Believe it or not, there is a way to enjoy the Thanksgiving feast without ending up in fetal position spooning a bottle of Tums. Here are a few of our tips for taking the high road this Thanksgiving:
1. Take matters into your own hands. We've said it before and we'll say it again, it is up to you to provide tasty and delicious options that you can indulge in without feeling deprived. The baked Brussels sprouts aren't going to magically appear if you don't plan for them. Whether you are hosting or you're a guest, prepare a light vegetable based dish. Everyone will thank you. If you need some ideas, check out our Autumn Salad recipe and our Sweet Roasted Carrots.
2. Do NOT go in starving. Have a snack beforehand so you can make conscious decisions without acting like a vulture. Eat your usual breakfast, lunch, and snack instead of "saving up" for the big feast. We recommend a snack that contains both protein and fiber and is under 200 calories. Some ideas include a Greek yogurt with berries, veggies with 2 tablespoons of hummus, an apple with a tablespoon of nut butter, or a handful of almonds.
3. Navigate the options and plate responsibly. Before piling it on, do a quick analysis of the meal. Glance at all of the dishes and ask yourself what you absolutely need to try and what can you live without. Once you've decided, fill half your plate with vegetables (no, vegetables covered in cream or cheese don't count), then move onto your protein. Your turkey portion should resemble a deck of cards. Now you have a quarter of your plate left for the fun stuff - rolls, casseroles, stuffing, etc.
4. Socialize, don't scour the buffet table. Remember, Thanksgiving isn't just about the food. During this Holiday you are surrounded by loved ones. Take this opportunity to focus on catching up with people rather than hovering around the food. Once you've made your plate, sit down! Eating while standing reduces your feelings of satiety, as well as your awareness of how much you are consuming. Sit with a glass or wine or cup of tea and relax.
5. Follow the 3 bite rule. When it comes to dessert, studies have shown that the highest amount of endorphins are released with the first and last bites of dessert. We know it's easier said than done, but try to enjoy 3 bites of your favorite dessert and then throw it away. Then focus on your wine, tea, or seltzer.
We are not expecting Thanksgiving to be your cleanest day of eating, but there is a way to remain empowered, rather than letting the stuffing take control of you!