Surviving Thanksgiving Without Gaining Weight

We’ve all heard about holiday weight gain – it’s almost an American tradition. The problem is, as we over indulge during the holidays, we gain a few pounds that we may find difficult or almost impossible to lose. The remedy to this is to do what we can to avoid gaining the extra baggage in the first place. The good news is, it is possible to enjoy Thanksgiving and all its traditional fun and festivities, without gaining weight.

One way you can afford to over indulge during this meal is if you have a combat plan. What I mean is, you should plan to burn off the extra calories – before you consume them. Starting right now, add a little something extra to your regular exercise routine. And start Thanksgiving Day out with some exercise. Consider spending some quality play time with your pets or your kids. That’s a great way to burn some calories while having fun. After your Thanksgiving feast, why not take a walk to burn off some of those calories?

Another tip for keeping your appetite in check on that day is to begin your day with a healthy breakfast. And of course, depending on when you will be eating the holiday meal – you may need to include a nutritious lunch before the feast. The point is, you shouldn’t ‘save up’ your appetite for the meal. Also, drink a glass of water before you eat your holiday meal. These steps will help ensure that you don’t overeat. And you can still enjoy the holiday dishes.

Serve holiday dishes that are made using lower calorie ingredients. This will help ensure the overall meal is at least a little less laden with calories. Most of us will be presented with a fabulous display of food choices. And if we have some of each dish – we will certainly consume a huge amount of calories. So before you begin loading your plate, take the time to survey what foods are available. Then make choices accordingly. It’s wise to skip eating foods that you can have at other times of the year and focus more on the holiday favorites.

Some of the traditional favorites that are lower in fat include white turkey meat, roasted sweet potatoes, plain vegetables, defatted gravy, mashed potatoes made with skim milk and light butter, and pumpkin pie with frozen yogurt – instead of ice cream. Be sensible in your serving portions and fight the temptation to have seconds. Moderation is key during your holiday meal. This will allow space and calorie room for a dessert.

Besides drinking a glass of water before the meal you should remember to eat slowly. Thanksgiving is really about enjoying time with family and friends. Focus on that. You could also indulge in foods that provide fiber and water content. They will help add to your feeling of fullness.


You really can enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday without fear of weight gain. But it does take a little effort. Keep in mind that during the holiday season you should be realistic in goals pertaining to weight. Instead of focusing on weight loss, it is more realistic to focus on weight maintenance. If you are able to lose weight during the holidays you can congratulate yourself for achieving something that few people ever do!

Celebrate Thanksgiving by focusing on people – not food

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