Photo: Family Walking on the Beach

by Manjari Fergusson

Thanksgiving is a fun-filled holiday that’s known for big eating and those pesky pounds that go along with it. But you can actually enjoy the holiday season without weight gain if you learn to avoid overindulging on and around the holidays leading up to the New Year.

This doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun and enjoy the holidays with your family and friends – naturally you’ll be eating richer, higher calorie foods over those three or four days. But you can do it in a healthier way by incorporating a few of these tips:

  • Make a new family tradition of going for a walk either before or after dinner. This can be an enjoyable way to exercise and converse and work off a few of those calories, along with aiding digestion.
  • Do a quick 20 or 30 minute vigorous exercise (metabolic) in the mornings or evenings before dinner, especially around the festive time.
  • Make an effort to drink plenty of water (2-3 liters) per day; this will help flush out toxins, help with healthy blood pressure, and make you fuller so you won’t eat too much. Sipping during the meal will help, too.
  • Try and pace yourself during your meal; it takes the brain 20 minutes to process a meal, so wait a few minutes before helping yourself to seconds (or thirds).
  • Make sure you eat a wholesome, healthy breakfast. Don’t show up to the holiday meal hungry, or you may end up overeating.
  • Try and give away as many leftovers as possible so you’re not stuck with them. Also, make a few vegetables dishes, which are high in fiber and will help you feel full.

Living a healthy lifestyle is about the overall way of eating; if you eat bad one day, try to eat better the next. There's no need to continue eating rich, high calorie foods after Thanksgiving. Don't fall into the mindset that you might as well keep eating this way or making poor choices because you've gained a couple pounds over the holiday weekend. It's about having a positive relationship with food. Indulge, enjoy a Thanksgiving meal without guilt, but try to eat healthy in general.