With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it is understandable that you may lose track of your current fitness routines and weight loss goals over the next few weeks. Although the urge to cheat on your diet will be hard to resist, there are plenty of ways to enjoy your Thanksgiving feast without skipping it entirely or jeopardizing your hard work. Here are five ways to navigate your Thanksgiving meal and maintain your weight loss goals are healthy, social, and most importantly, delicious! 

  • Prioritize Protein: Protein is an essential component of every successful diet. Luckily, turkey is one of the leanest sources of animal protein out there, so sticking to your diet this Thanksgiving does not mean you have to skip the centerpiece of your meal! Common turkey alternatives like holiday hams or meatless options are wonderful sources of protein as well.  

  • Eat Slowly: Eating at a slower pace helps limit the size of your food intake and gives you better control of your portions. When you eat slowly, your stomach has more time to register and digest what you're eating, which helps you feel full quicker. As a result, you will avoid excessive calorie consumption. The best ways to consciously eat slower are to put down your eating utensils in-between bites, chew more thoroughly, and engage in table conversations.  

  • Don’t Go in on An Empty Stomach: Some people try to limit their food intake leading up to a big meal. This may seem like a great way to leave room for the feast, but it inevitably leads to overeating if you try to limit yourself to healthy options. Make sure you eat a healthy breakfast in the morning. If the big meal is earlier in the evening and you don’t have enough time for decent lunch, have a Medi-Weightloss® protein shake or bar before you leave for your gathering.   

  • Limit Your Carbs and Control Portions: Carbohydrates can kill a lot of good diets, and several classic Thanksgiving dishes are loaded with them. The biggest culprits are stuffing, mashed potatoes, rolls, and pumpkin or pecan pies. If any of these are must-haves for you every year, limit yourself to one serving and fill empty parts of your plate with more greens and veggies, preferably roasted.  

  • Avoid the TV and Snack Bowls: It is common for families to gather around the television, watch football, and provide a wide variety of snacks and appetizers while waiting for the turkey to cook. Even if the pre-meal munchies are on the healthier side, it’s easy to get distracted by the TV and side conversations that lead to mindless snacking. To avoid this, offer to help prep the meal or arrange the dining room to keep yourself occupied.  

We know it is not easy to stay focused on strict diets this time of year, but we hope these hacks will help make this holiday season manageable yet enjoyable. And don’t forget about exercise! Even if it’s just a walk around the block or a virtual yoga session in your living room, some light physical activity will go a long way. Happy Thanksgiving!