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Be prepared this Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving meals can be a stressful time if you’re aiming to lose weight. The truth is, if you are practicing healthy habits most of the time, then you can relax because Thanksgiving is only one day out of 365! So first and foremost, focus on catching up with loved ones and enjoy the meal. You do not need to feel guilty about indulging a little as one meal will not have a massive impact on your long-term lifestyle habits. That being said, if you are currently on a strict calorie deficit with a time-sensitive goal, overindulging will certainly set you back. Here are some tips to help you keep on track while still enjoying this holiday.

Don’t show up hungry. It will make it much easier for you to manage cravings if you have eaten balanced meals for breakfast and lunch. Ensure each meal has protein, fats and carbohydrates, sticking to your meal plan.

Pass on the charcuterie board. Appetizers are great but if you want to indulge in these, you’d have to take that into consideration as part of your intake as well. It’s best to avoid this altogether or keep to a bare minimum so you can enjoy the main event!

Fill your plate with vegetables and protein. Vegetables are high in fiber and nutrients, while breast meat is high in protein. This will help keep you full while having high quality nutrient intake.

Limit fat intake. Fat is not necessarily unhealthy, but it is very calorie dense. It adds up quickly and you can triple your intake in one sitting, especially at a roast dinner! There will be oils found in roasted vegetables and salads, but as above, I recommend filling your plate with these. Instead, focus on limiting fat in your meal where you can control the quantities. Choose breast meat over dark meat. Skip the gravy and butter. Pass on the whipped cream and cream in your coffee.

Choose your carb. When aiming to lose fat, reducing your carbs while increasing your protein is ideal. There are a lot of carbs at thanksgiving dinner; bread bun, roasted sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, stuffing, pumpkin pie and list goes on. With pumpkin pie and bread being the most processed, these are the ones I’d recommend avoiding. That being said, if these are preferable, skip the potatoes instead! Alternatively, keep to a very small amount of each.

Enjoy calorie-free beverages. Water, diet soda, club soda, tea and coffee with no added sugar or milk. Offer to be the designated driver and skip the booze too! Calories hidden in beverages can have a detrimental effect on your goals.

Get back to your diet plan straight away. One meal will not sabotage the rest of weight lost plans, so don’t feel defeated if you see a jump on the scale. It is expected to see weight gain after indulging, this is partially due to water retention. You are likely to lose any increase in weight in a matter of days if you promptly return to your healthier eating habits. Make it your only treat for the week. Pass on skip the dishes this week, or that visit to the ice cream parlour.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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