Thanksgiving day can easily lead to weight gain but with a little know-how you can enjoy a guilt-free day with family and friends. Dietician Nutritionist, Jessica Fishman Levinson shares five ways to enjoy Thanksgiving without feeling like a stuffed turkey at the end of the day!

Break for Breakfast


Skipping meals may seem like a good way to save calories, but you’ll be more likely to overeat later. Start the day with a satisfying breakfast like oatmeal with pears and cinnamon or a smoothie made with protein-rich Greek yogurt like this Mixed Berry Yogurt Smoothie.

Prep Is Your First Step


If you wait until the last minute to get cooking, you run the risk of needing to purchase prepared foods, which will likely have more calories and fat than your home cooked dishes. Not to mention the added stress of cooking as your guests arrive. Make a cooking schedule a couple of weeks ahead of turkey day and cook some freezer-friendly foods like cranberry sauce and casseroles ahead of time. This will also save you from tasting everything in the kitchen Thanksgiving day, leaving more room in your belly for dinner itself.

Drink Wisely


Everyone knows water is king for hydration, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a seasonal cocktail or two for the holiday. Keep in mind that alcoholic drinks can increase appetite and lead to poorer food choices, so limit yourself to one drink for women and two drinks for men. To stay hydrated with some added flavor, sip on diet soda or flavor infused water.

Gaze Before You Graze


 Whether Thanksgiving dinner is being served at the table or as a buffet, check out all the offerings before you start piling food on your plate. Rather than taking a little of everything, choose three or four of your favorites, making sure there’s a balance of protein (turkey of course!), high-quality carbohydrates (think sweet potato puree), vegetables (Brussels sprouts for the win), and fruitStudies have shown that the more variety you put on your plate, the more likely you are to overeat.

Save Room for DessertButtery Maple Walnut Pie Image_BWTBS (2)

No Thanksgiving meal is complete without a piece of apple pie or slice of pumpkin bread (at least not for me!). By following tip 4 above, you’ll (hopefully) have room for a sweet treat without having to loosen the belt buckle. Taking slivers of multiple cakes and pies may seem like a calorie-cutting strategy, but chances are you’ll end up eating more than if you savor one piece of your favorite dessert.

Be sure to check out our Food & Drink section for some Thanksgiving recipe ideas.

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