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Your Thanksgiving Guide to Not Gaining Weight

Thanksgiving is probably the biggest day of eating in the USA. No shocker there, right? With all that ridiculously yummy food on the table, it’s hard to figure out what to do with your hands besides, well, eat.

Good thing you’re here now, because I’m sharing 5 tried and true weight loss tips that are sure to get you through Thanksgiving without stuffing yourself like that bird.

Tip #1: Feast on good company. I always encourage my clients to make the company the focus of the day, rather than the food. For real this time. Be in the moment. Laugh. Really listen to your cousin’s story about his recent trip. Ask your grandma about what Thanksgiving was like 50 years ago. Challenge your nephew to spell cornucopia. Challenge your niece to say it three times fast.

Make eye contact, connect and engage with every person who is special to you in the room and make sure that you leave the day full of love, rather than mashed potatoes. You don’t have to treat the meal like your last supper to be satisfied, nourished and giving thanks.

Tip #2: Have a plan (and share it with aunt Millie). I can’t tell you what to eat, how much to eat or what it will take for you to feel successful on Thanksgiving. I customize that work for each and every one of my clients individually (though I do have some go-to Thanksgiving recipes that I recycle each year).

I will tell you that going into Thanksgiving with a plan of attack for what goes into your mouth will give you the opportunity to be successful. Without a plan, you cannot set yourself up for success or stay on track with your healthy diet.

You can be the Thanksgivophile (just made that word up, permish to use granted) who plans to eat a small serving of all of the offerings. You can be the parade watcher who plans to eat only the healthy snacks, crudites and desserts. You can even be the marathon football watching fan who snacks from morning to night in planned combinations of portion controlled holiday favorites.

Make a plan so you can stick to it. Tell this plan to someone who will be celebrating the holiday with you. It will keep you accountable and on your healthy eating task.

Tip #3: Use your hands for something besides eating. Eeeeek. Turkey’s resting for 30 minutes. It smells soooooo good. You’re surrounded by snacks: nuts, cheese, something puffy that’s oozing parm and pancetta. Code red.

Remember your plan! Rather than eating whatever’s nearby, keep a glass in your dominant hand (preferably seltzer with a few pomegranate seeds tossed in, a little wine spritzer or an herbal tea). It will keep you from munching mindlessly.

Other ideas to keep your fingers from putting unwanted items between your lips: take holiday wish lists from your friends and relatives to make your shopping easier; help the host; bring your knitting, a puzzle, craft or an origami activity to do with the kids; pull out old board games; or look at old photographs. Thanksgiving is a good day to go old school here.

Tip #4: Fab your gorgeous self out. Take a few minutes before the company arrives, or you head out into the world to your turkey soiree and make sure you feel good about how you look.

Celebrating your Thanksgiving in sweats and bed head isn’t going to inspire you to feel your best, make good food choices and propel you into anything other than a food coma.

Think about someone you admire who exudes health, confidence and positivity (with a little sex appeal thrown in) and take a little inspiration. Why not feel amazing on the outside?! You’re amazing on the inside! Keeping your appearance on the forefront of your brain may help you make good food choices.

Tip #5: Take a nap. There are many reasons I recommend a little mid-day shut eye on Thanksgiving.

Yes, obvi you cannot eat and sleep at the same time. A little siesta also honors that you’re taking a day off for enjoyment, and quiets the stress hormone cortisol, which is linked to holding on to extra belly fat in your bod.

Rested bodies are also better able to fight off germs and keep you well as cold and flu season starts knockin’ on the door.

You don’t have to be anti-social — a 30 minute break from the festivities should be enough to refresh you (and maybe help get you out of doing some of those dishes).

Happy Thanksgiving, friends. You can celebrate this one without a souvenir extra pound or two to remember it with. Cheers to you — you can practice these tips for all of the holidays to come!