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by Coach Aesha, Founder of Tone and Strengthen

Thanksgiving is here! 

I love the family traditions around Thanksgiving and the values that it teaches of giving, gratitude, and sharing food. 

However, Thanksgiving also means a lot of meal prep, a lot of cooking, and the stress of hosting. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and think you don’t have time to stick to your healthy routine. 

If you are on a quest to stay healthy this Thanksgiving holiday, you are not alone. 

Good news! It is possible to enjoy the holiday, and stay on top of your health goals. With some planning, you can have the healthy Thanksgiving you desire. 

Here are my top five tips for enjoying a healthy Thanksgiving holiday.

  1. Start Your Day Right

    A national holiday does not mean it’s a no-workout day. Keep your daily or weekly workout routine on the calendar. Clear the first two hours of your Thanksgiving morning and plan for it the night before by putting out your workout

Sign-up for a Turkey trot and walk or run it with friends while having fun. Local gyms often have special HIIT-style classes on their schedule to help you revive your metabolism with intense Thanksgiving sessions.

  1. Enjoy Outdoors

    Get moving outdoors. You can make it a family affair at a local park with kids. Or, take your guests and kids to a trail and go hiking late morning or early afternoon. Research shows that hiking has a positive impact on combating the symptoms of stress and anxiety. This will be a mood booster and a great bonding activity for everyone.

    Go for a gratitude run or walk. I love logging gratitude miles on Thanksgiving Day. I offer thanks for something or someone each mile I run. You’ll find that offering gratitude in this manner makes up a nice long run.

  1. Eat All Your Meals

    I have heard this so many times. “I’m saving space for dinner tonight”. Please don’t skip breakfast and lunch. It isn’t healthy; it makes you very hungry by dinner and, it slows down your metabolism. Starving all day will only make you eat everything in sight!

    Let go of your food restrictions related to your weight this Thanksgiving. Enjoy Thanksgiving all day by eating flavorful meals throughout the day. Start your day with a balanced breakfast. Then, a couple of hours before dinner, eat a light lunch or snack. Include Thanksgiving flavors in your other meals. Go for pumpkin pancakes and eggs with a side of roasted squash. Try a fall salad topped with roasted chicken and pumpkin seeds for lunch.

    Spreading Thanksgiving flavors throughout the day will give your body time to digest and be satisfied. It will ensure your blood sugar is stable, and you won’t have unnecessary food cravings.
  2. Eat A Balanced Dinner

    Food provides nutrition for your body, and holidays like Thanksgiving bring us closer to our loved ones. Eat a balanced meal on Thanksgiving Day and every other day of the year. Your plate should ideally have quality protein, healthy fibrous carbohydrates, and good fats. This combination of macronutrients in optimal amounts will help balance your blood sugar and keep your metabolic rate high.

    To balance your thanksgiving plate, fill half your plate with veggies like green beans, sweet potatoes, broccoli, and squash, then fill 1/3 of the plate with protein like turkey breast and finally fill the rest with healthy grains like brown rice, bulgur, quinoa, or whole grain bread. Top off your plate with healthy fat sources like olive oil and nuts. You can use this plating technique to visualize the amount of food you should have.

  3. Savor The Food

    Food is supposed to be enjoyed, so consume it slowly. Slow down while eating. This is a great way to communicate with our brains. Research shows that the body sends its satiation signal about 20 minutes after it reads full to the brain. This lag leads us to overeat, often unconsciously. Savor your Thanksgiving meal and enjoy the company of loved ones. Be present at the moment and enjoy every bite of your meal. Bon Appetit!

This Thanksgiving, celebrate and offer gratitude for the people and experiences you cherish. Take time to enjoy the outdoors with friends and family, and enjoy balanced meals throughout the day. Follow these tips to enjoy this holiday while staying on track with your healthy habits.

Edited by the GNL Editorial Staff