Tips for a Healthier Thanksgiving Dinner

I feel like the Thanksgiving holiday has become synonymous with over-eating. If you think I’m wrong consider this. The average Thanksgiving dinner complete with all the fixings is about 3000 calories. So, if you’re average that means you’re consuming more calories at that ONE meal than you should in about a day and a half. In just one meal. And, that’s not even considering the follow up meals of leftovers that happen later that day and the next. But, I’m here to tell you that it does not have to be that way. Here are some tips to help you have a healthier Thanksgiving dinner.
  • Don’t starve yourself leading up to the big meal. While you might think this is a good strategy, it’s actually more likely to backfire on you. Going into a meal where there is an abundance of food when you’re ravenously hungry is never a good idea. Chances are you’ll go way overboard and eat more than you should. Instead, have a healthy breakfast (and lunch if necessary) as you normally would.
  • Go for the white meat. Although many prefer the taste of dark meat, it contains more than twice the amount of saturated fat than the white meat does. Higher saturated fat content means higher calories too.
  • Have fresh cranberry sauce over the canned stuff. Fresh cranberries are great for you. They’re loaded with antioxidants, high in fiber and low in calories. But, canned cranberry sauce is a different story. Just one serving of canned cranberry sauce has just as much sugar as a candy bar. So, skip that and make your own. It’s simple to make and you control how much sugar goes into it.
  • Slow down! With all the delicious foods on your Thanksgiving table it can be hard to pace yourself. But countless research proves that eating more slowly is much better for you. Take smaller bites. Chew each bite slowly. Really savor what you’re eating. You’ll likely find that you feel more satisfied sooner and enjoy your meal more. Plus, it’s better for your digestion which means less discomfort and bloating afterward.
  • Avoid drinking a ton of calories. While sipping on apple cider throughout your meal might taste great, it can easily add 400 calories and 50 grams of sugar!! If you love the tradition of cider, you should certainly enjoy some, but keep it to one serving either before or after your meal.
  • Bring your own healthy food. If you’re not hosting, offer to make a healthy side dish that you can enjoy. You’ll find a bunch of healthy twists on traditional Thanksgiving dishes here on Delish.
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