One of the most delicious of all holidays is almost upon us, but if you’re interested in having a healthier Thanksgiving day feast, you may be breaking a sweat wondering how you’ll side-step all the indulgent, unhealthy dishes!
Not to worry, because with some simple steps for success, you can still enjoy the day (and the food), while reigning in your urge to over-indulge. As long as you focus on healthy lifestyle practices in general, and of course throw some healthy Thanksgiving recipes into the mix, having a clean yet decadent Thanksgiving can be easier than you think.
We get it… You still want to enjoy the day with your family and friends, but you also want to feel good about yourself and your ultimate goals in the midst of serious temptation.
Read on to learn how you can do both this holiday…
Tips for Enjoying a Healthy Thanksgiving Feast
1) Choose crowd-pleasing (healthy) recipes
While you’re busy creating your Thanksgiving menu, you may not even realize there are so many ways to make the dishes you typically enjoy – and many of them are healthier than traditional versions. Check out this post on creating a Healthy Thanksgiving Menu for fresh ideas to create totally mouthwatering, healthy Thanksgiving recipes including main dishes and sides.
2) Take proper portions
One of the hardest parts about the Thanksgiving holiday is that it can be so easy to take more than you need to eat to be satisfied. While it’s perfectly okay to treat yourself to some of your favorite foods at your Thanksgiving feast – you still need to stay within proper portion sizes when you do it.
If you’re confused about what this actually looks like, check out this guide by food group on the USDA’s website, MyPlate – which not only tells you recommended portion sizes by age group, but also gives you examples of what an ounce equivalent of food looks like on your plate.
3) Stay Hydrated
Though this is a common health tip you hear repeated often, it’s incredibly hard to forget, especially during busy days of cooking and chatting like holidays. But the truth is, if your body is thirsty, you’ll be more likely to snack, mistaking your thirst for hunger. Staying hydrated is therefore a great way to stay in control of your appetite – and it can also be extremely delicious at the same time…
A great way to help you keep up with essential hydration is by giving yourself more than just water. 310 Hydrates are invigorating powders you mix into your H20 that contain electrolyte minerals that enhance hydration – so you don’t have to drink nearly as much water to keep your cells hydrated and your body functioning at its best.
In addition, 310 Lemonades are a way to make your water more appealing, with totally yummy flavors like peach, blackberry, watermelon, cherry lime, kiwi strawberry, and more. Instead of boring water, you’ll look forward to drinking these tasty beverages, and they can also help curb your sweet tooth with natural sweeteners; boost your metabolism with green tea; and support gut health with apple cider vinegar.
You can also add fruit, veggies or herbs into a water pitcher full of water and ice to create a crowd-pleasing infused water recipe. Or, make a batch of this refreshing lemonade and detox tea to serve to your guests; Both the lemonade and tea will help speed up digestion, naturally energize and suppress your appetite – so it’s great for flavor and function!
4) Get enough protein & fiber
Our next healthy Thanksgiving tip has to do with the food selections you make – since this is obviously a holiday where there are lots of dishes heavy in carbs and sugar. Instead, take your portions of protein, and lots of healthy veggies first – to ensure you’re getting the foods that will keep your metabolism revved up and your digestion working at its best. In addition, the foods containing plenty of protein and fiber are typically the healthiest nutrient-wise.
Need some help to power up on these nutrients? That’s why 310 Shakes are a holiday must-have in your pantry! Not only are there super-delicious recipes (like this Thanksgiving Dinner Smoothie) that you can savor pre-holiday dinner, or in place of your typical holiday foods, but they also contain well-balanced nutrition, including 15g of organic plant-based protein and 5g of satiating fiber.
It's a great practice to have at least one shake on a holiday, so it helps you be more in control of your diet and not binge on high-calorie foods. On a regular basis, we recommend two shakes in place of other meals per day, and one regular healthy meal. On a holiday, it’s OK to indulge, just make sure you do so within reason, and check out these super-yummy shake recipes for help staying energized and feeling your best all day!
5) Make exercise a group activity
Many people look at exercise as a chore, but in reality, it can be a fun activity that your whole family can participate in… and breaking even a small sweat can definitely help you feel better about the Thanksgiving feast you’ll sink your teeth into.
Make it a new tradition to do something physical with your family on Thanksgiving, whether it be a morning turkey trot or a post-dinner walk to keep everyone from falling asleep after eating. You could also start the day with a group workout session using simple at-home workout equipment.
6) Practice “mindful eating”
If you’ve never heard of mindfulness, it can be a powerful tool not only to help reduce stress and anxiety in your life, but also to assist with your weight loss goals. Under the umbrella of mindfulness is mindful eating, which means to really turn up the focus of awareness on the state of eating, so that you don’t rush through your meals and you savor each bite.
When you eat mindfully, you make it a practice to only eat – without multi-tasking and doing other things at the same time. You take in all the smells and tastes of the food, giving it your full attention, and you eat slowly, so you have a chance to really enjoy it.
When you do this, you actually will find that you become satisfied and full quicker, instead of mindlessly eating more calories than you need to. It also helps you develop a healthier relationship with food, and studies show it can help you lose weight. (1)
When it comes to mindful eating and Thanksgiving, it’s the perfect day to take smaller portions of the foods you love and then eat them with intention, instead of scarfing them down. It allows you to participate in the good food of the holiday, while also staying in line with your goals.
7) Reduce stress & give thanks
Last but certainly not least, it’s extremely easy to get extra stressed on any holiday, from all the planning that goes into the day. But high stress levels up the hormone, cortisol, in your body, which can increase anxiety and cause you to reach for more unhealthy foods.
One incredible solution for reducing stress is focusing on all of the things you are thankful for in this season. Make a list and put it somewhere you can see it every day. Also talk about the things you are thankful for with your family and have them make lists as well. It’s not just about the food… it’s also about who you share it with!
Are you ready to have a healthy Thanksgiving?! Let us know what healthy Thanksgiving recipes you are most excited about making in the comments, below.