While the holiday season is certainly merry and sentimental, these festive months carry the added risk of holiday weight gain. If you're looking for ways to cut down on the calories this Thanksgiving, take note of these 10 ways to watch your waistline.
1. Choose Healthy Thanksgiving Dishes
Whether you're the hostess with the mostest or you've volunteered to bring a dish to your mother-in-law's family shindig, make sure you choose healthy Thanksgiving dishes this year. Explore healthy Thanksgiving recipes like butternut squash soup, herb-roasted turkey, sweet potato dishes, rice puddings and fruit desserts.
2. Watch Your Alcohol Intake
While giving thanks is certainly a cause for celebration, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol on Turkey Day will definitely not help to stave off those extra holiday pounds. Remember that most types of alcohol are pretty fattening, so limit your alcohol intake to one drink.
3. Don't Forget About Exercising
Just because it's a national holiday, it doesn't mean that you can forget about daily exercises. Make a special effort to keep up with your daily or weekly exercise routine to keep your metabolism pumping.
4. Make Only One Thanksgiving Dessert
If you're hosting Thanksgiving this year, do your waistline and your guests a favor and only serve one dessert. Faced with a table piled high with multiple Thanksgiving desserts is hard to resist for even the most adamant health enthusiasts. Avoid temptation by only offering one, healthy dessert this year.
5. Eat Before the Main Event
If you can't trust yourself and your appetite around a table full of delicious Thanksgiving delicacies, aim to eat an hour or so before the main meal. Eating before Thanksgiving will help you to not pile your plate with too much food as you'll already been pretty full.
6. Be Social
Aside from being a prerequisite on special family occasions, socializing will help you stay away from the chips, dip and celebratory snacks. Mix and mingle around the room or the table and you'll find you've forgotten all about the temptation to eat the unhealthy snacks on offer.
7. Get Out of the House
Why not troop the whole family out of the house after the big meal? This can be a great adventure if there's kids involved--take everyone down to the park, beach or special lookout to get everyone up, moving and out of the house.
8. Less is More
Avoid that feeling of being so full you could pop by stopping eating once you're full. Eat slowly and listen to your body, it will tell you when it's time to put down the fork.
9. Use a Smaller Plate
If you're worried about overeating on Thanksgiving, why not accidentally use your side plate instead of your dinner plate? The size of your plate can contribute greatly to the amount of food you eat, so aim for a lot less by using a small plate to serve yourself. You'll be amazed by how much less you'll eat.
10. Avoid the Leftovers
Politely declining to take home leftovers can be hard to do, but your body will thank you for declining to have extra, unhealthy foods sitting in the fridge just begging to be eaten.
Haylie Pretorius is a lifestyle writer and online editor living in Sydney, Australia. When not managing a host of digital marketing clients, and writing about the dos and don'ts of staying fit and healthy in the modern world, Haylie writes theatre and movie reviews for The Brag. You can connect with Haylie via LinkedIn.