In a rare occurrence, Thanksgiving and the first day of Hanukkah both happen to fall on Nov. 28 this year. This coming holiday many will find it very hard not to overindulge in old favorites and newly invented culinary creations.
Here are a few tips so that you won's overgobble this Thanksgivukkay from Brooke Schantz, a registered dietitian at Loyola University Health System:
Offer to bring a healthy dish to a party. Not only will you have even more healthy options to choose from, but the host will think you are being very thoughtful. Check with the host to see if they need someone to bring a salad, vegetable tray or non-starchy side dish.
Don't go to a party hungry. Saving your calories up for the big meal is not beneficial for your waistline and will only lead to overeating. Don't skip breakfast, just have a smaller one, and, if possible, add in a healthy snack before you leave for the party. Consuming a small snack before attending a party will help prevent overconsumption. Preparty snack ideas include raw vegetables, a small piece of fruit, one cup of low-fat yogurt, one cheese stick or ¼ cup of unsalted nuts.
Remember to drink water. Drinking water will help you feel full and keep you hydrated. Have one to two glasses of water before your big meal and take a sip of water in between each bite to slow you down.
Watch your portions. Use your fist (about one cup) to measure one serving of fruit. Use a cupped hand (about 1/2 cup) to measure out those starch servings like corn casserole, mashed potatoes or stuffing. Your palm is the perfect guide for determining the right amount of turkey, fish, etc., to add to your plate.
Preplan. Going to a holiday party with a battle plan is a great way to keep those portions in check. Find out what is being offered at those holiday gatherings and decide what you should include on your healthy holiday plate.
Fill half your plate with vegetables. Want to take the edge off of your hunger pains or the urge to overeat? Fill half your plate with vegetables except for corn, potatoes and peas. Eating your vegetables first will fill up your stomach and ease the urge to mindlessly eat.
Make time for exercise. In addition to your regular physical activity, go for a family walk, run a turkey trot the morning of your holiday party or go to the gym. Exercise is a great way to get your energy levels up and offset those additional holiday calories.
Explore further: 10 tips for preventing weight gain over the holidays