There’s no avoiding it: a dinner table filled with savory delights, a pecan pie cooling in the kitchen, endless hours of holidays specials and football matches. While Thanksgiving is a time for families to bond and enjoy the company of distant relatives and friends seen only a few times a year, for some it heralds the beginning of a long stretch of indulgence that results in tighter clothing and remorse. It’s not uncommon to overdose on holiday cheer, but there are ways to keep your metabolism up during Thanksgiving weekend so you don’t fall completely into a tryptophan coma. Here are five tips to observe for a healthier Thanksgiving.
1) Vary your plate. Make sure there are several vegetable options – more leafy greens and carrots, less mayo-based salads – to enjoy. Leave off that extra pat of butter for the yams and go easy on the gravy, and try not to use too much butter or oil when cooking. There are many ways to prepare a heart-healthy Thanksgiving feast – consult the Web for ideas.
2) Get out and walk. Don’t spend the whole morning in front of the television! Bundle up and enjoy the crisp Autumn with a nice walk before the big meal. You’ll find if you spend at least twenty minutes outside you’ll get your heart pumping, and you’re more apt to burn off that Thanksgiving meal, plus have more energy throughout the day.
3) Limit dessert. Of course, you’ll want to make room for pie. Just make sure it’s not the entire pie! Don’t worry about this holiday indulgence – one slice of pumpkin pie won’t end the world, but don’t fall into the holiday sweets trap. Keep fruit on hand for the cravings. Apples especially help with digestion.
4) Relax. Holidays can be a stressful time for everybody, and when you’re stressed you may be tempted to cope through raiding the refrigerator. Arguments around the dinner table particularly do not set a proper mood, so if the kids at the smaller table are making too much noise, or if the criticism starts from one end, take a deep breath and handle any potential explosions in calm manner and get back to enjoying the gathering.
5) Laugh! You’re with family, take advantage of their company and relieve the best times together. Sharing a good joke, or watching a funny holiday program, helps release endorphins and neurotransmitters for a healthier body, plus it’s contagious.
Whatever you do and wherever you go, make this a healthy holiday to remember. Happy Thanksgiving!