Celebrating Thanksgiving with family and friends is one of our favorite time of the year! However, while the holidays are a great time to get together, every party and gathering is also an excuse for us to take a break from our healthy eating habits. The good news is that there are things you can do to stay fit.

The real meaning of Thanksgiving is not to feast but to give thanks. By focusing on gratitude you and your family will be able to eat consciously and joyfully while not packing the extra pounds. Follow these 5 nutrition tips to help you and your family cut calories without depriving anyone of a feast:

#1: Skip Extra Portions and Servings

Before you fill your plate, look around the buffet table and decide what you want to eat. Then select a reasonable portion of the foods that will satisfy your cravings. The trick is to resist the temptation to go back for second servings. Besides Thanksgiving leftovers are much better the next day! If you can limit yourself to just one plate, you are less likely to overeat and have room still available for a small dessert.

#2: Fill 1/2 of Your Plate with Veggies

If you are planning to visit family, make sure to take a salad bowl or vegetable plate. Otherwise be a health-conscious host and prepare plenty of veggies for everyone! Adding veggies to your plate will fill you up and keep you from indulging in unhealthy foods. Also, try to avoid cheese, cream, and butter.

For many families mac and cheese is sometimes hard to avoid during Thanksgiving. But with several types of cheese, milk, and breadcrumbs, you might want to take just a tiny spoonful during your feast. To make your meal healthier skip the mac and cheese and choose a side dish of sweet potatoes.

#3: Don’t Skip Breakfast and Lunch

It is a big mistake to fast before a big meal or party. When people skip meals, they end up feeling so hungry by dinnertime that they sometimes behave irrationally and overeat. Don’t make this mistake! Make sure you and your family have a regular breakfast and lunch to avoid packing on the pounds.

Studies show that teens who skip meals are more likely to be overweight than those who eat three meals a day. The fact is that skipping meals slows down your metabolism and causes you to eat more throughout the day. So make it a priority to have breakfast with your family on Thanksgiving.

#4: Enjoy More Water, Less Dessert

Remember to drink plenty of water before and during your meal since it will help your stomach to stay full and keep you from overeating. Teens cannot replace water with juices or diet sodas. Water helps us stay hydrated and increases our metabolic rate while juices and diet sodas contain artificial sweeteners that affect our hormone levels. Sugary drinks are simply empty calories and devoid of any nutrients.

As for sweets, try to limit your portion to one serving of dessert. Your best bet is a slice of pumpkin pie since it has 40% fewer calories than pecan pie. Pumpkin also delivers fiber and, like all orange foods, pumpkins are packed with carotenoids which can help tackle free radicals and decrease inflammation. 

#5: Make Fitness a Family Priority

Take a walk early in the day with your family and again after dinner. Make fitness a family adventure! It’s the perfect way for your family to get physical activity during your special time together. Having the ability to move, breathe, and share life with your family will make you feel even more grateful.

Eating less and exercising more is also the winning formula to prevent weight gain during the holidays. By making smart choices that allow you to feel both satisfied and energized simultaneously, you will not feel deprived during Thanksgiving or feel stuffed and sluggish. This balance will help you stay fit!

Focus on Weight Maintenance

The holiday season is a time for celebration! However, most Americans never lose the weight they gain during this time of the year. If you and your family can shift from a mindset of weight loss to weight maintenance and control portions, then eating healthy during the holidays will not be as hard.

If you have any questions please let us know. At Kalina’s Fitness we are always here to help you and your family build healthy habits that last a lifetime. Our program combines nutrition, support, and exercise classes to empower kids and teens with the tools they need to achieve their fitness goals.

We are driven by a strong belief that every child deserves the opportunity to realize their full potential. Let us help your child become an amazing version of themselves and register for your Free Class today. We wish you and your family a happy and healthy Thanksgiving. Thank you for visiting us!

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