Thanksgiving Holiday Tips And Tricks For Healthy Eating

Posted: Nov 02 in Health And Wellness, Nutrition, Weight loss, Weight Management Strategies by

Do you look at Thanksgiving with a combination of joyful expectancy and dread? Have past years of being uncomfortably full for hours diminished the meaning of this wonderful national holiday? Just a little rethinking and pre-planning can make a difference for you this year.


Here is a list of tips to keep you healthy during the Thanksgiving holiday:

  • If you’re hosting the event, instead of serving the gooey marshmallow sweet potatoes or whipped white potatoes, try oven-roasting the yams, and turnips, brussels sprouts or onions, the carmelization is heavenly!
  • Prepare a large turkey breast rather than an entire bird, or do individual Cornish hens.
  • Use broth to moisten your dressing instead of butter.
  • Set out a great Crudities tray with fat free dip and a platter of dried fruit for ” before and between” snacking.
  • Try a crust less pumpkin custard instead of a pumpkin pie
  • Substitute green beans simmered in chicken broth for the casserole with all the fried onions
  • Serve whole wheat yeast rolls
  • Cut down on your “drinkable” calories by having Sparkling water instead of wine
  • If you are beer drinker, switch to a lite brand to watch during the game
  • For your main holiday meal, use a smaller plate (luncheon size), fill it once with whatever you decide to eat, then pace yourself on eating that food only; no second helpings
  • Try to schedule your main holiday meal earlier in the day to allow time for a walk after your meal and to reduce the amount of time for snacks, alcohol and appetizers prior to your meal
  • Eat all of your meals and snacks as planned to avoid overeating at the big celebration meal
  • Cook smaller amounts of side dishes that are higher in calories in fat; there won’t be enough for second helpings or leftovers!
  • Only taste foods you truly enjoy, and have 1-3 bites of those
  • Don’t waste calories on foods that are moderately appealing
  • Cook additional vegetable dishes to have a variety of healthy options
  • Go on a walk, hike or some activity on Thanksgiving day. Maybe even participate in one of the many organized “Turkey Trot” races! You will feel energetic and refreshed!
  • If you decide to deviate from your usual plan for a holiday, limit the excursion to that holiday only, don’t let your healthy eating and exercise habits slip from Halloween through New Years

Put the focus on the holiday’s meaning, and food becomes an accompaniment. Happy Thanksgiving!

Registered Dietitians Tracy Boykin, Liz Hurst & Susan Ellis contributed to this article.





3 Responses to “Thanksgiving Holiday Tips And Tricks For Healthy Eating”
  • Jill Sisson says:

    I was a patient YEARS ago (lost 30 pounds and have kept it off) and got the recipe for your pumpkin pie. Unfortunately, I’m traveling and don’t have it with me but want to make it for Thanksgiving. Would you please send it to me by email?
    Say hi to Mickey for me.
    Thank you,
    Jill Sisson

  • Jill Sisson says:

    Would you please send me your pumpkin pie recipe?
    Thank you

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