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Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate with food, but there are other ways to enjoy the holiday without completely overindulging and compromising your health and weight. Here are a few tips to help you keep your health a priority this holiday season.

  1. Eat a balanced breakfast or snack before the big meal with satiating, protein-rich choices like egg whites and whole grain bread, plain Greek yogurt or nuts. Although many people think it is helpful to save calories for later in the day, this tends to backfire as they will likely be ravenous and have less self-control when making their Thanksgiving plate.
  2. Aim to fill half of your plate with non-starchy vegetables (salad, asparagus and green beans) and fruit. These foods are high in fiber and will help to fill you up without making you feel bloated and tired.
  3. Look at all of your options before making your final food choices. Choose only the foods you really want and keep portions to moderate, single servings of starchy foods like stuffing, sweet potato casserole and mashed potatoes.
  4. Shave off extra calories by avoiding calorie-dense additions like gravy, butter and creamy salad dressings. One tablespoon of butter or salad dressing adds approximately 100 calories each, so these items add up quickly!
  5. Eat your meal slowly and think about what you are eating. Eating mindfully and feeling like you have enjoyed the food will help you be satisfied with smaller amounts.
  6. Plan to take a walk at some point after the big meal and save dessert for later in the day rather than eating it immediately after a full plate of food. Exercise and eating less at one time will help manage blood sugar levels and keep your metabolism from plummeting.

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