How to enjoy Thanksgiving without blowing up your diet

How to enjoy Thanksgiving without blowing up your diet

A cute dog begging for the Holiday Feast.

The average American consumes 3,000 calories during Thanksgiving, but you don’t have to. Here are some tips inspired by health writer Barbara Brody on how to enjoy the holiday without completely abandoning your weight management program.


Our inclination might be to skip breakfast to save room for dinner. But showing up to the feast on an empty stomach is only a good idea if you’re trying to gain weight. A nutritious, low-calorie snack before dinner will help keep you from overeating.

Dress up!

You may want to put on a big, comfy sweater over loose-fitting jeans. But don’t dress down. Dress up! Wear something form-fitting, and maybe even a little snug around the waist. That way you’ll look good before and after dinner.

Be picky

Don’t fill up on food you could just as easily leave off your plate. You don’t have to sample everything in equal measure. Have your favorite foods in mind when you come to dinner and pass on the rest.  

Back of the line

This is just good manners, but it also will help you eat less. It your dinner is being served buffet-style, go to the back of the line. If a more formal sit-down dinner, try not to be the first to reach for the stuffing and gravy. Food tends not to look so irresistible after it has been picked over a bit.

Drink water

Always drink water with your meal, especially if you are having wine with your dinner. It will help you feel fuller, aid digestion, and slow you down, so you eat less.

Savor your food

Another way to eat more slowly is to thoroughly chew your food. Savor it. And join the conversation in between bites. (Remember not to speak with your mouth full.)

Cleanup time

After dinner, volunteer to help with the cleanup. Clear the table, load the dishwasher, wrap up leftovers. It’s a great way to continue your dinner conversations, not to mention burn off some of those extra calories. Your hosts will be grateful, and this day is all about gratitude.