It’s estimated that the average American consumes about 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving Day – that’s equivalent to eating eight (8) McDonald’s Big Macs!
The holidays are meant to be enjoyed, so instead of wasting calories on the foods you don’t love, or on foods you can have any time of the year, go ahead and enjoy your favorite Thanksgiving dishes while balancing your calorie intake the rest of the day with these healthy holiday tips:
- Chew gum while you cook or chat. You’ll be less likely to munch. Let’s face it, the calories in the BLTs (bites, licks and tastes) add up quickly. What’s more, research indicates that chewing gum between meals may help suppress your appetite. So, chew on.
- Plan your meal for earlier in the day. It’s estimated that nearly 1,500 of those 4,500 calories consumed on Thanksgiving come from the snacks and drinks before the big feast. The sooner you eat Thanksgiving dinner, the less time you have pre-meal to overindulge. Plus, it’s believed that the habit of eating your biggest meal earlier in the day is helpful for maintaining a healthy weight.
- Prior to filling your plate, survey the options. Load up on fruits and vegetables first, choose a few of your family favorites that are unique to Thanksgiving, then skip the rest. No one says you have to take some of everything.
- Be wary of beverages. Alcohol can be very high in calories. Not to mention, it can relax your inhibitions and induce overeating. Enjoy one adult beverages (upwards of two, if you’re a male), if you feel so inclined, then switch to water or seltzer water.
- Get moving. Start your day with a local Turkey Trot, take a walk or go for a family bike ride. Any activity not only helps burn some extra calories, but exercise is also a great stress-reducer – we all have stress when it comes to planning and hosting the big meal or dealing with your not-so-wonderful family members, so get out an breathe.