Throughout the holidays, the average American gains about a pound of weight. One of the clear culprits that holiday weight gain is Thanksgiving.
To help you keep that bathing suit bod you worked so hard for over the summer, we’ve gathered some helpful tips to help you learn how to avoid gaining more pounds during Thanksgiving.
1. Embrace the veggies
Thanksgiving is traditionally earmarked by heavy, fatty dishes like mashed potatoes, gravy, macaroni and cheese, stuffing and, of course, desert. But there are usually some healthier options on the table. Corn, spinach, green beans and other vegetables may be a great alternative.
Using your common sense can go a long ways here. Though it may be impossible to have a truly “healthy” Thanksgiving meal at whatever event you attend this holiday season, being smart about what goes on your plate can save you in the long run.
If the menu is up to you, you might consider a fully-vegetarian Thanksgiving!
2. Go easy on the drinks
The holidays are a time of celebrating with friends and family and oftentimes, those celebrations include alcohol. A survey found that Americans typically have between 2 to 3 alcoholic drinks on Thanksgiving. But, those drinks are typically loaded with calories that you might not expect.
On average, a single 12 oz. bottle of beer has 153 calories, a whiskey sour has 163 calories, a glass of sweet wine has 165 calories and sugary drinks like a piña colada can have up to 490 calories. Three bottles of regular beer alone adds up to 490 calories – and that doesn’t even count any food!
3. Eat slowly
One of the easiest ways to reduce calorie intake is to eat your meal slowly. When we eat fast, we tend to carelessly eat more than we should. Eating slowly has been shown to reduce that tendency. You’ll begin to feel the food and you’ll fill up faster than you would if you scarfed down your plate.
4. Eat breakfast
You might think that skipping breakfast would actually put you in a position to eat more when the Thanksgiving meal rolls around, but not eating all day could end up hurting you in the long run. If you show up to the Thanksgiving table hungry, you might be more tempted to overindulge.
As a general rule, it’s a good idea to eat regular meals. While it may seem like you’re eating more, eating regular meals promotes self control and boosts your metabolism.
And remember, it’s the most important meal of the day.
5. Mind your snacking
It’s so easy to go overboard with snacking at Thanksgiving events. If you’re mindful of what snacks that you eat, you can save yourself from empty calories before you even eat the main course.
If there’s an hors d’oeuvre table, snacking on fruits and vegetables is a lot more nutritious than heavier options. You should definitely avoid anything fried, dairy-based or breaded.
6. Burn some calories post-meal
Sometimes, it’s nearly impossible to survive Thanksgiving without overindulging, but you can always burn off some of those extra calories.
Taking a short walk, jog or bike ride can burn more calories than you’d think. You could even make it a family tradition. There are plenty of ways to exercise outside if the weather allows, but there are also exercises that can be done in a small space, too.