Stuff Your Turkey, Not Your Pants: 6 tips to a healthier Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving tips in an HR trends and employee benefits blog

Tis the season of overindulgences—for both your waistline and your wallet. Thanksgiving is the holiday dedicated to the appreciation of fine wines and good food with family and friends…but this doesn’t have to be in excess. This holiday, count your blessings, and if you dare, your calories and your pennies. Use these 6 quick and easy tips to help make it through the holiday without overdoing it:

  1. Plan Ahead. If you’re hosting dinner, plan your menu ahead of time and only buy necessary ingredients. We tend to be over-generous this time of the year, but excess leftovers might just go to waste. Leverage a cooking calculator to help determine the right amount of food per person.

  2. Make it a Potluck. Know that this time of the year makes it easy to lean on loved ones. And your guests want to help! Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance with appetizers, desserts and/or wine to share the cost.

  3. Don't go hungry. If you’re not hosting, have a snack before you arrive so you’re not ravenous when you get there (helpful hint: carbohydrates and protein will help keep you full.) Also, Make nibbling inconvenient when you do get there by finding a food-free zone—out of sight, out of mind!

  4. Watch the alcohol. No one likes this one, but it’s important. Alcohol lowers your inhibitions, which usually causes more food to find it’s way into your mouth. Plus alcohol is expensive. At the very least, try to wash down each glass of wine with a full glass of water.

  5. Eat slowly. It takes 15 to 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain it's full. So enjoy each bite and take your time! Try to take smaller bites, put your fork down between them, chew well, and savor your food.

  6. Choose quality over quantity. It’s ok to treat yourself (it is a Thanksgiving after all!). Plan to eat that special something you'll really enjoy, like that piece of apple pie, but don’t feel obliged to sample everything. If you’re a dessert person like me, make an effort to control your portion sizes at dinner. Think vegetables, protein and then starch. This gets you the nutrients you need and will help save room for that after-dinner sweet!
If you totally fall off the wagon, don't worry, tomorrow is another day. Just walk it off (literally) and aim to get your health and finances back on track post-holiday.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

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