Simple Tips & Tricks to Keep Thanksgiving Healthy

Thanksgiving dinner is quite possibly the most celebrated meal in the United States. Most people plan the dishes they will prepare, serve and eat weeks if not months in advance.

Unfortunately, several of the tantalizing treats and portions of food we eat aren’t always the healthiest. The Harbin Clinic fitness team offers some tips to help everyone enjoy a healthy Thanksgiving.

Avoid Grazing and Bring Some Extra Water

During your holiday celebration, spend more time visiting with friends and family and less time eating snacks. This helps save room for the main meal and talking will help you cut down on grazing the food table.

“I also find keeping a bottle of water nearby helps, because of it you’ll stay hydrated and it keeps you from drinking sodas, teas or other sweet beverages which have a lot of calories and sugar,” Ellen Houston, a group exercise instructor says.

Plan to Exercise a Bit More

Most people know they are going to be eating a big meal on Thanksgiving, but they can do something earlier in the day or days before Thanksgiving to help with the glut of extra calories.

“I know my caloric intake is going to be a lot higher on Thanksgiving,” Brian Price, an exercise physiologist, says. “I make sure to do some intense exercise the morning of Thanksgiving and on the days leading up to and after it. I know I’m going to eat more, so I make sure I work harder.”

Plan a Family Exercise Excursion

During Thanksgiving, families normally spend a good bit of time talking or eating, but in order to be healthier try to get everyone active.

“A good idea would be to get everyone and go for a walk together. Everyone can still talk and visit, but instead of grazing while you’re talking, everyone is getting some exercise,” Susan Lavigne, an exercise physiologist, says.

Get Moving While You’re Cooking

Standing over a stove or by an oven helping prepare the meal doesn’t mean you can’t find time to raise your heart rate. Instead of just sampling the food as you’re preparing it, spend some time doing a few exercises.

“When I’m cooking I find ways to keep moving. It can be as simple as doing air squats or wall pushups or finding a heavier pot to do some exercises with. That way you not only get to fix the food but get exercise in as well,” Gladys Mixon, a Harbin volunteer, says.

Be Mindful of Overflowing Your Plate

When it comes to eating, pay attention to what you put on your plate. There are certain dishes we all love, even if they aren’t the healthiest. Make sure you get those but don’t grab massive portions.

“You need to be conscious about what is going on your plate. Get a spoonful of your favorite dishes instead of a heaping portion and limit yourself to one plate of food,” Price says.

The average Thanksgiving meal contains 3500 to 4000 calories.  Running one mile burns about 100 calories.

Enjoy The Holiday

By following a few of these tips you can still have a great meal and time during Thanksgiving without the terrible bloated feeling of overeating.

Harbin Clinic cares completely about your health. If you end up eating too much turkey, think about getting out and exercising with Harbin Clinic at one of our fun fitness events.