Stuffing the Turkey Without it Stuffing You

turkeyGravy laden mashed potatoes, heaps of stuffing and creamy pumpkin pie all sound scrumptious- until you think about what it will do to your waist line. We wait all year for a day dedicated to stuffing ourselves to the brim with calorie-abounded foods. While you certainty shouldn’t deprive yourself of your favorite thanksgiving staples, cutting back just a little and making some smart swaps, can go a long way in maintaining the physique you have worked so hard to make.

Below are five expert backed tips that can help ensure you get through turkey day, without feeling like an over stuffed turkey yourself.

1). Don’t show up empty stomach

Yes, you heard that right; don’t show up to your thanksgiving feast with a growing empty stomach. It’s important to eat a small, nutritious low calorie snack before the meal to help combat over eating.  “Fresh vegetables with hummus, or a cup of warm soup about an hour before mealtime should help tame your hunger”, claims Sonya Angelone, RD, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  Bringing a veggie or fruit try along as an appetizer is another great way to ensure healthy options pre-meal are at your fingertips.

2). Dress to Impress

Oversized, baggy, expandable clothing are what we naturally want to style on the feast filled day. Instead, try opting for a form fitting outfit, think skinny jeans or tighter fitting dress that hugs your body’s curves. “You’ll be less likely to overeat if your wearing something a little snug, because you’ll start feeling uncomfortable more quickly” says Keri Gans, RD, author of The Small Change Diet. Finishing your meal without having to undo the top button of your pants ensures you’re in good shape for the rest of the night.

3). Be the Caboose to the line  

Getting ready to hit a buffet style meal? Head to the back of the line and let others get their fill first. “Once the cheese platter and desserts have been picked over, they won’t seam nearly as enticing”, says Karen Ansel, RD, a New York based nutritionist.  It may be hard to fight not being first in line, but your jeans with thank you later when they fit just as they did pre turkey day.

4). Draw a clear finish line

Once you have had your fair share and feel content with your meal, reach for a “meal ender” to prevent you from picking what may be left in front of you. Elisa Zed, RD, author of Younger Next Week, recommends popping a breath mint or reapplying your lip-gloss.  Better yet, cover the reminders of what’s on your plate with your napkin to take your mind off any reminders. Remember, just because you filled your plate to the brim, doesn’t mean you have to finish it. Our eyes tend to be bigger then our stomachs and its important to listen to our body’s natural cues that let us know when we are full.

5). Join the clean up crew

“One hour spent clearing the table and washing dishes while your standing can whittle off about 100 calories” says Jackie Newgent, nutritionist and author of The With or Without Meat Cookbook. While your host will be thankful for your help, it will also provide you with a distraction to keep from nibbling on what’s left in front of you.

While Thanksgiving is a holiday dedicated to eating delectable foods, try these tips and tricks to help keep your figure in tip-top shape. Don’t forget about the true meaning of the holiday and take time to reflect and be truly thankful for all the marvelous things, including your health, in your life.

~Fall in love with taking care of yourself. Mind. Body, Spirit.~

Hannah Anderson

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