Making Healthy Choices During the Holidays

making healthy choices during the holidays, photo of turkeyThanksgiving doesn’t have to destroy your diet

Thanksgiving is the start of the winter holiday season, and that sometimes means eating too much, drinking too much, and neglecting your usual exercise routine. If you are concerned that you are going to gain weight this holiday season, try out this advice for making healthier choices while still enjoying everything the season has to offer.

1. Save up for the main course
There’s no question that a traditional Thanksgiving feast is high in calories. To help lessen the impact, be sure to watch what you eat earlier in the day. Stay away from unhealthy appetizers, like chips, dips, cheese plates and other high-calorie snacks. Opt for low-calorie healthy appetizers like raw vegetables with a light dip. Save up your calories for the feast itself!

2. Bring a healthy side dish
If you are having dinner at someone else’s house, bring one or two healthy items to contribute to the buffet, as well as a healthy dessert. This not only helps out the host, but it also ensures that you will have some healthier options to choose from.

3. Veggies first
When it’s time for your Thanksgiving dinner, go for the vegetables first. If you fill up half your plate with the vegetable options, that will leave less room for the heavier meats, gravy, potatoes, and breads. This way you can still have a full plate, but the total calories will be fewer.

4. Avoid the hidden calories
Some of the most caloric items are the smallest things on the table. Try to cut back on or avoid gravy, sauces, butter, heavy salad dressings, and sugary drinks.

5. Resist getting seconds
Thanksgiving is a feast that should be enjoyed, so go ahead and fill up your plate with a good balance of vegetables, meats, and starches. Be sure to eat slowly and savor your food. Once you have enjoyed your first plate, try to avoid going back for seconds.

6. Drink seltzer water
The holidays are a time when people enjoy having drinks with friends. It doesn’t hurt to do this in moderation, but try to stick with just one or two drinks. Or try switching to zero-calorie seltzer water. Many people find this is a good substitute.

7. Enjoy the company
Thanksgiving is not just about the feast. It’s about feeling grateful and appreciating the important people in our lives. Rather than focusing only on the food and drink, take time to make conversations with the people in your family. This is what builds the lasting memories and brings you closer to others.

We hope these Thanksgiving tips don’t take all the fun out of your holidays. Remember, Thanksgiving is a day to indulge, but you don’t need to overdo it. By eating in moderation, you can still enjoy all of the holiday’s treats, and you will feel better in the long run.

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at the Harris School of Business!