4. Reduce the salt. Too much salt can cause your body to retain water and make you feel bloated – not to mention the increased hypertension risks. Reduce salt in your Thanksgiving recipes, or use herbs to enhance natural flavor. Avoid buying a “self-basting” turkey that’s injected with a high-sodium solution, and be sure to check sodium labels when choosing canned vegetables
5. Avoid overeating.
• Eat breakfast. Starving yourself could backfire and start a binge.
• Be choosy. Before loading up your plate, survey the buffet and pick only those foods you really crave, like oyster stuffing or candied yams.
• Take small samplings of a wide variety of dishes. Savor that bite and pass on seconds — remind yourself that more won’t taste any better.
• Pace yourself at the table, and stop eating before you feel full. A recent study shows that eating quickly leads to weight gain.
• Make time for conversation. Put down the fork before you talk.
• Don’t go overboard. Sure, Thanksgiving all by itself is just one day. But between all the various holiday parties, dinners, and get-togethers that are ushered in right after Thanksgiving, overindulging is entirely too easy.
6. Put Your Dessert on a Diet
• Make yourself a sampler — with slivers, not slices, of your favorites.
• Use French-style tarts to cut the amount of piecrust in half; crisps made with fruit and a crumb topping have even less dough. (If it’s really the filling you love, skip the crust altogether.)
• Try a trifle. Alternate layers of fresh fruit chunks with fat-free ladyfingers and sugar-free vanilla or banana pudding; diet pudding also makes a great substitute for mascarpone in tiramisu and as a sauce for poached pears or baked apples.
7. Burn Extra Calories
• Without realizing it, you can easily pack in a pound’s worth of calories — yes, 3,500 — at Thanksgiving dinner. Considering that 60 minutes of biking at 10 mph burns only about 300 calories, it’s hard to undo so much overeating in one day.
• Try adding another 30 minutes of daily activity every week during the holiday season to help burn off all the extra calories you’ll be eating.
An Extra Tip: Focus On Your Family, Not Food
Remember that Thanksgiving was intended to be a special time to spend with family and friends. Following these tips, as part of a larger effort to eat healthily, allows you to indulge smartly on occasion without suffering from some serious repercussions.
If you do overdo it, develop a day-after plan before you go to sleep. Decide on a light yet nourishing breakfast, a brisk workout, and a little forgiveness — getting back and staying on track, not feeling guilty, should be your lifetime goal. It is the holiday season, after all!