10 Tips for a Healthy Thanksgiving

The holidays are a great time, and most people look forward to them all year long. You can spend time with loved ones, eat delicious foods, and reflect on everything you have to be thankful for. One of the downsides to the holidays is all the delicious foods we eat, and there is a lot of it for Thanksgiving, which is surrounded by food no matter where you go. People sit down and talk about why they are thankful, eat a bunch of food, and take a nap.

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Thanksgiving sounds like a pretty good day unless you are one of the people out there that spend most of the year watching their weight and staying healthy. The holidays are one of the most prominent times that people fall off their diets and fitness routines and start gaining weight. Don’t worry; you can still enjoy the holidays and the food and not ruin your hard work. Here are ten tips for staying healthy at Thanksgiving.

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#1 Stay Active

Yes, this time of year might have you wanting to curl up under a blanket with a cup of hot cocoa and a good show to binge-watch, but your body is craving some activities. Remember to stay active and get in some workouts so you can burn off those extra calories you are taking in during the holidays.

#2 Portion Control

Watch your portions and use a smaller plate to avoid overeating. You can still enjoy all the delicious foods made, but you don’t need an entire portion of each item. Take a little bit of everything. Split your roll with someone, take a small piece of the pie, and avoid feeling stuffed.

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#3 Feel Satisfied not Stuffed

Feeling satisfied is very important when eating but super crucial during the holidays. The feeling This means that your stomach has too much food in it. Being stuffed or full is actually a bad thing. You should only eat until you feel satisfied. This means that your body is telling you it is comfortable and happy with the food it just had. During the holidays, lots of people make the mistake of eating until they are so stuffed that they fall asleep, which can lead to weight gain.

#4 Make Healthy Dishes

Healthy dishes are one of the best ways to avoid eating things you should not have. If you are hosting dinner, then you are in the perfect spot to make the food healthy. If you are attending someone else’s dinner, make sure to take a healthy side dish and healthy dessert, so you have options. People love different sides, which will give the appearance of generosity and help your diet. Here are four recipes for healthy dishes & desserts you can prepare.
Smashed Green Beans With Lemony Sumac Dressing
Blistered Green Beans With Fried Shallots
Pumpkin donuts with pecan frosting
Mini chocolate pumpkin seed candy peanut butter cups
You can also find many more recipes like this on my Pinterest boards. Follow me there!

#5 Eat Breakfast

Often, people will skip breakfast on Thanksgiving because they are busy cooking, and they know they will eat a ton of food later. Remember that a ton of food is never a good thing. Start your day off with a small breakfast that is full of protein and fiber. Doing this will help you discriminate later when the appetizers come out.

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#6 Avoid Seconds

Avoiding seconds can be hard at Thanksgiving when there is so much food around, and your nosy Aunt Ruth wants you to try some of her famous macaroni dish. Just remember it is ok to say no or that you are full. If you aim to please people, then, by all means, take a bite, not a helping. Try to say no to seconds and remember that there is probably more dessert than you will ever need. Remember that leftovers from Thanksgiving taste amazing the next day, so save your seconds for that. If you keep your portions small the first time around, you will be fine getting a second helping of small portions later in the day. You want to pace yourself and not eat a lot at one time, and this is the best way when there are a lot of dishes.

#7 Watch the Alcohol

No, this is not the surgeon’s general warning about what alcohol can do to you and how you should avoid it. This is simply a tip telling you to watch how much you take in. A lot of times on holidays, yummy mixed drinks and wine are pouring all around. These can be delicious and don’t feel like you can’t partake. Just remember that alcohol has a lot of hidden calories that can add to your daily limit, which can cause you to gain weight. Stick to a glass of wine or a spritzer. A low calories hard cider or beer would work as well. If you are attending someone else’s dinner, bring your own bottle to know precisely how much you are having.

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#8 Eat Slow

Eating slow can be extremely hard to do when there is so much good food around. However, if you take small bites and put your fork down between bites, you will find that you fill up faster and eat less. Even counting to 20 as you chew can be helpful, but this is not always the most fantastic idea when people try to have a conversation with you. Just remember to go slow, and the food isn’t going anywhere.

#9 Be Realistic

The holidays bring lots of wonderful times and delicious foods. It can also bring stress and pressure as you are entertaining and searching for the perfect gifts and clothes, not to mention the stress of paying for all of it. During this time, it would be best to focus on maintaining your weight versus weight loss. Don’t get upset with yourself if you overeat on Thanksgiving or forget to get a workout in. Just keep moving forward.

#10 Work it off

Get in a workout the morning of Thanksgiving and start your day off right. That will help with the balance of the extra calories you take in today. No time in the morning, then try to squeeze one in before bed. Anytime you can find to work out will help. This day can be challenging, so don’t focus on a long workout but go for a HIIT workout that you can do in 5 to 10 minutes. Check out my Etsy store for 5 minutes HIIT workout cards that will give you many different options.

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All and all remember to have a great day and remember what you are thankful for.

For more information on weight loss for women check out my coaching options.

Amanda Jordan
Author/Weight Loss Coach/ Advance Nutritionist

About Amanda Jordan

Amanda Jordan is a writer, specializing in fitness for women, especially those just beginning their fitness journey. She combines life as a freelance writer with teaching effective meal planning and targeted exercise routines. Amanda has firsthand knowledge of what life is like being overweight and unhealthy. Through many means, she has personally lost over 80 pounds and become a healthy woman.


  1. These are great tips. Thanks! I was worried about getting through the holidays but this will really help.

  2. […] there is. If you are a person who struggles with your weight, this can be dreadful. Check out the article on how to stay healthy at Thanksgiving. One of the other problems with food at Thanksgiving is being a vegetarian or vegan. If you do not […]

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