Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Top 5 Thanksgiving Tips

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The biggest food holiday of the year for Americans is fast approaching. Are you ready to indulge? What are your favorite treats? People don't want to hear from a dietitian how many calories are in their favorite treats. You just want to enjoy, right? I am not going to lecture you on what not to eat, but rather just give you a few tips on how to make your day more enjoyable.

Tara's Top 5 Thanksgiving Tips:
  1. Enjoy your meal. By all means, overeat if you want. This is the one day of the year that I condone eating too much. Overeating just one day on Thanksgiving will not cause significant weight gain. This is not to say that you should go crazy, but enjoy the day and fill your plate with your favorite Thanksgiving treats.
  2. Pick and choose. There is so much food to enjoy on Thanksgiving. Don't waste calories or space in your stomach on foods that you can easily get anytime. For example, keep your hands off of the hard rolls and instead enjoy a scoop of mashed sweet potatoes. Even though I like to encourage eating your vegetables, skip the salad if there are other vegetables you want to try.
  3. Eat breakfast. Don't starve yourself all day long expecting a large meal later. You will end up eating way too much and choosing the very high calorie foods. Eat a healthy breakfast and follow that with a snack before the big meal. You should hungry but not starving when the turkey is being sliced.
  4. Keep it safe. A common problem I see families make is that they leave the platters of turkey and bowls of stuffing out all afternoon so people can come back and nibble as they please. Food left out at room temperature breeds bacteria. Perishable foods should not be kept out for longer than 2 hours. Refrigerate leftovers promptly and reheat them to steaming hot when you are ready to indulge again.
  5. Move a little. I know the temptation is to sit on the couch for the remainder of the day watching football or napping. Resist it! Get moving around the block for a nice brisk walk. You will feel so much better about all of the food you just ate. I also recommend starting your day with a Turkey Trot 5K race (you can walk it if you are not a runner) or just go to a little trot yourself if there are no races in your area.
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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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