9 Weight Loss Tips During Thanksgiving

By Keri Glassman, MS, RD, CDN

You’re looking for weight loss tips because you want to do Thanksgiving differently this year, right?

Usually, you eat until you’re stuffed, fall asleep on the couch, and wake up in the 4th quarter of some football game. If this is you, we promise you, you’re not alone.

If football’s not your jam, you might retreat to a bedroom and pass out in a food coma on a proper bed. You tell yourself it was all that tryptophan from the turkey. But does the tryptophan in turkey really make you feel tired? Not really.

Turkey contains an essential amino acid called L-tryptophan, which the body uses to produce the brain chemical serotonin. Serotonin can help us sleep by improving our mood and promoting relaxation. As it turns out, turkey contains almost the same amount of tryptophan as chicken, pork, and beef. What’s more, egg whites, soybeans and cheddar cheese have even more tryptophan than turkey.

So what are the real culprits behind your post-Thanksgiving marathon nap? Aside from typical overconsumption of food and alcohol, it’s usually just the result of too many carb-heavy foods and throwing your healthy diet out the window. Mashed potatoes, corn bread, stuffing, and apple pie—oh my! All of those starchy carbs can quickly raise blood sugar, and may encourage sleep.

This year, begin a new tradition.

Eat a little less, drink a little more (water!), feel a lot better, and maybe you won’t even need the nap. You’ll be ready to show Black Friday who’s boss.

9 Weight Loss Tips During Thanksgiving

1. Begin with breakfast.

Eat consistently throughout the day beginning with a well-balanced, healthy breakfast.

Oatmeal porridge with banana, honey and walnuts, selective focus

2. Eat before you party.

Choose from your arsenal of healthy snacks before you go to a holiday dinner. To control hunger, try eating two high-fiber crackers with 2 teaspoons of natural nut butter or a hard-boiled egg as a pre-party snack.

Peanut butter spread on soda crackers on the plate seen from above with knife and salt.

3. Offer to bring a dish.

There may not be many healthy foods offered at your party, but that’s OK. By bringing your own healthy dish, at least you’ll have one go-to—and you’ll know exactly what’s in it.

Fall harvest roasted butternut squash and pomegranate salad. Healthy kale, brussels sprouts and autumn spiced, maple syrup roasted butternut squash, just perfect for a fall salad.

4. Turn on your healthy food radar.

Load up on lighter and cleaner appetizers with healthy fats, such as crudité with a portion of hummus.

Vegetable Crudites and Dips/ vegetable platter, healthy eating

5. Set your sip limit.

Give yourself a drink maximum before the meal begins. Remember to sip slowly and choose lower-calorie and low-sugar options such as vodka and seltzer or wine spritzers.

Young men and women drinking cocktail at party

6. Exercise!

An hour spent burning calories will also motivate you to make healthier choices later in the day.

Group of multiracial people doing Vasisthasana pose performing Side Plank asana exercise, work out together during yoga class, strengthens stretches body muscles, improve arm balance.

7. Control your portions.

This includes veggies. Unless you’ve prepared them, they could be loaded with sneaky ingredients such as margarine or sugary sauces. (Here’s a handy portion control hack for you to try.) Don’t let desserts derail your healthy lifestyle either. Slice your own pie so you can control the size. And, skip that crust.

Traditional thanksgiving food on wooden table. Orange delicious homemade pumpkin pie with crust and decorative items. Thanksgiving table setting concept.Top view, close up, copy space, background.

8. Listen to your body.

Stop eating once you’re slightly satisfied. Period. You’ll have much better memories of a meal enjoyed than a meal overindulged in. Focus on your family and friends, not food.

In selective focus of Homemade Roasted Thanksgiving Day Turkey with all the Sides.

9. Drink plenty of water.

Drinking adequate water promotes what’s known as a thermogenic state, which increases your metabolic rate. This will help to keep you from overeating and help you feel full, so you don’t actually stuff yourself full.

Woman filling glass with water cooler indoors, closeup. Refreshing drink

10. Enjoy your day.

And, here’s a bonus tip for you. When it comes to Thanksgiving or any gathering of family and friends, don’t forget to enjoy your day. Consciously and wisely (with the tips here) indulge in your favorite foods, and have a very happy Thanksgiving.

Take Your Hunger for Nutrition and Wellness Knowledge to the Next Level

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(Images: Shutterstock)

About Keri Glassman, MS, RD, CDN
Keri Glassman, MS, RD, CDN, is a renowned celebrity nutritionist, healthy cooking expert, and wellness thought-leader. She is the founder and CEO of Nutritious Life and The Nutritious Life Studio, an online certification that provides unparalleled, forward-thinking education to individuals of various backgrounds looking to establish successful careers in the health and wellness industry.

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