Stay on Track with These Tips for Thanksgiving!

Kristin Davis RD

Are you getting stressed about Thanksgiving? Thinking you won’t stick to your diet with all the temptations of pumpkin pie and mashed potatoes laid out on the table? We’ve come up with our favorite tips for staying on track with a low-carb lifestyle while still enjoying all that Thanksgiving has to offer.

Tip #1

What are you thankful for? If you consider Thanksgiving as a time of stress, it will be. That goes for all the holidays and events that aren’t standard in your life. But guess what? That’s life! It’s important to recognize all that life has to offer, whether it’s family, friends, health, wealth, or even tempting treats. Enjoy spending time with the important people in your life, take a breather from the routine and remember, it’s just one meal!

Tip #2

Turkey is low-carb! That’s right. And if ham is your thing, you’re in luck! Plus, you can add more choices by tweaking recipes you already use. Sugar-free cranberry sauce, mashed cauliflower, sugar-free jello salad, and even pumpkin mousse can be delicious alternatives to the sugar-laden foods that you might typically consider at Thanksgiving. When you provide yourself choices that you can eat without guilt, it will be easier to stay on track and still enjoy the meal.

Tip #3

What’s important? If it’s pleasing other people at the expense of your health, then that means you’re putting someone else in charge of your life. Mental preparation for any occasion is important. Is it worth filling yourself with food that won’t get you to your goal?

Tip #4

Is it worth it? Intentionally decide whether or not to indulge in your Thanksgiving meal. Refer to Tip #1 and go for it! Or, set the new standard at your house and see Tip #2. Just make sure that you are making the decision from a place of self-love and knowledge – Tip #3. And when looking to indulge, remember to be sure it’s worth it! Don’t waste the indulgence on something that you can get any time. Choose Thanksgiving-specific treats that don’t come around but once a year!

Tip #5

Send leftovers home with others so that your meal doesn’t migrate into the weekend. Trade out turkey for dessert and get your hands on what’s left on the veggie tray.

Tip #6

Get active! Depending on your day, go for a walk before or after the meal. Hint: Turkey Trot at the Portland Zoo has a 5k walk or run to get your morning started.

Tip #7

Don’t skip breakfast! Be sure to eat your protein for support and appetite control. Going to the dinner table hungry will feed the free-for-all mentality.

Tip #8

Think of alcoholic beverages like milkshakes. How many milkshakes would you drink at one time? This little mental trick can help you be aware of carbs and calories. Enjoy in moderation! To help moderate, have water in-between drinks and use sugar-free mixers whenever possible. Drink size is important too, so don’t fake yourself into believing you’re only having one glass of wine if it’s more than 5 oz per glass.