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5 Ways to Survive Thanksgiving (Without Busting Your Diet Wide Open)

Thanksgiving is an awesome time of the year. One filled with good food, family and positive vibes. But, the Thanksgiving feast isn’t known for having the healthiest fares. The fat and sugar heavy calorie bombs, although delicious, can derail just about anyone’s diet. Here are 5 sure-fire ways to enjoy your holiday while preventing a total nutritional nightmare.

1. Don’t let it surprise you.

You know Thanksgiving is coming, right? So don’t let it sneak up on you. Enjoying the occasional gluttonous treat is fine as long as it’s part of your larger diet plan. In the days before and after your big meal, stay on point with your food choices. Eat lots of protein and fiber rich foods (i.e. eat your damn veggies). Avoid the heavy carb meals. You know that stuffing, gravy and delicious ass bourbon pecan pie are on the horizon, so get your food game correct leading up to it and right after it.

2. At Thanksgiving, load up on protein and fiber.

Meat and veggies, baby. Load up. Protein and fiber rich foods (even those that have been cooked in equal parts butter and bacon fat) will keep you satiated longer, which helps curb those craving for a second helping of banana pudding.  

3. Don’t let Thanksgiving Dinner turn into Thanksgiving Week.

I know what you’re thinking, “but, the best part of Thanksgiving is all the leftovers.” Sorry, that ain’t part of the plan. The biggest trap people fall into during the holidays is letting one day of indulging snowball into a week of leftover pumpkin pie and sweet potato soufflé. Next thing you know, you’re passed out on the floor of the kitchen with an empty tube of whipped cream in one hand and a half eaten turkey leg in the other. (No? Just me?) You’ve worked too hard to let this happen. Enjoy your holiday. Eat guilt free. Indulge. But after dinner, get back on track. Plan out your post-Thanksgiving meals now so you’re not even tempted to take any leftovers.

4. Bring a healthy dish

When my wife and I first decided to get our food choices in check, it was right before the holidays. Not an ideal time to take on a new diet. But we planned ahead and we made it work. We knew there would be a lot of dishes that were off-limits, so we brought a few healthy alternatives (and enough to share). Not only did we stay on track, we even convinced a few other people that eating healthy doesn’t have to be bland or boring. Try these side dishes at your Thanksgiving gathering:

Sweet Potato Souffle

Broccoli Salad

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Carrot Cake Muffins - without the frosting

5. Grab a workout before the big meal.

You wanna survive the gut busting holiday meals unscathed? Get your metabolism revving before you eat. Most gyms are closed on Thanksgiving, but you can still get in a fat burning, metabolism-boosting workout at home. Try this, or this, or this.


Kevin Snodgrass