By Dr. Sarah E. Laibstain
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, you might be looking forward to spending time with your loved ones taking some time to relax, but if we’re being realistic, your mind might be on all the delicious food that the holiday entails! With so many varieties and cherished recipes, it is important to keep your health in mind throughout the holiday and any time off. It is estimated that the average American takes in 3,000 plus calories during a Thanksgiving meal alone. This can be at least 1,000 calories over the recommended daily value for an adult. Still, there are some easy ways you can enjoy your Thanksgiving without sacrificing the holiday traditions you know and love!
Fit in a quick workout. You don’t have to participate in a Turkey Trot to get some exercise on Thanksgiving. Try going for a short run or walk in your neighborhood. Watching a big football game? Try to do three push-ups every commercial break. Even if you have a busy day ahead of you, a few minutes can make a big difference in your health and give you more energy for the festivities ahead.
Make healthy diet choices. There are plenty of ways you can eat healthy while still enjoying the traditional Thanksgiving foods. Although you might want to save your appetite for dinner, eating breakfast can help you avoid binging on unhealthy foods later in the day. Additionally, try to avoid filling up on appetizers, and save space for the food you really want. Finally, make sure to load up on the veggies rather than skipping straight to the desserts!
Make sure to have fun! It’s important to feel like you aren’t sacrificing the Thanksgiving traditions you love. There are plenty of healthy ways to still enjoy your Thanksgiving while staying healthy. It’s all about quality over quantity. By watching your portions, you can still enjoy those mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. Even if you don’t have time for a workout, try going for a post-dinner walk with your family or playing a game of football for more quality time. Additionally, continue to think about your intake and activities post-Thanksgiving, as it can be just as easy to overindulge in leftovers.
Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be a splurge. By setting realistic expectations ahead of time, you can avoid any guilt afterwards. If you need more ideas on staying healthy this holiday season, contact your family physician to help brainstorm healthy choices to make while still enjoying all Thanksgiving has to offer.
Dr. Sarah E. Laibstain is a general family medicine practitioner at Family Medicine Associates of Texas in Carrollton. She thoroughly enjoys improving the health and lives of individuals ranging from young children to adulthood. For more information, call 972-394-8844, or visit texasmedicine.com.