Thanksgiving is known for many things: giving thanks, spending quality time with family and friends, running turkey trots and indulging in a meal that could break your calorie bank. For many, this is just the beginning of a season of overindulging, but it doesn’t have to be. If we strive to not gain weight during the holidays, we’ll be better off for months to come. In fact, one study found about half of the weight gained during the holidays sticks around well into the summer.
As a dietitian, I have several tips to help you enjoy the holidays without feeling like you’ve missed out on the fun and also making sure you don’t experience the guilt and discomfort following a binge:
- Eat a filling, protein-rich breakfast.
- Practice portion control.
- Don’t label a food as good or bad.
- Load up on healthy veggies.
- Splurge on special family dishes.
For example, start the day with avocado and egg on toast. The whole-grain bread, healthy fats from avocado and protein from a fried egg help you start the day with a balanced meal that holds you over until the Thanksgiving meal. Saving a few dishes from the spread for a lighter meal or snack in the evening can help keep you on track, whether you’re aiming for 1,500, 1,800 or 2,000 calories.
Here, we start out with a 1,500-calorie foundation and offer a few suggestions to add, depending on your calorie goal: