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Thanksgiving…Where Calories Still Count

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Written by Jessica Shelburne

I’m sure I’m not the only one who likes to tell myself that calories don’t count from turkey at Thanksgiving or candy at Halloween or any other special occasion where copious amounts of food are involved. But, the unfortunate truth is that the calories and poor nutritional value of some foods are still present on these days as much as others. There is nothing wrong with pigging out occasionally, but it is in our best interest to continue to be mindful of what and how much we are consuming in order to avoid feeling unwell later.  

Below are a few tips to eating and taking care of yourself on Thanksgiving:

Primarily, water is the best appetizer. It is important to drink enough water daily, but especially so on days where food intake will be greater than normal. Drinking water before and during meals will prevent your stomach from feeling empty and will be very beneficial with digestion of the heavy, high-carb foods that are popular with Thanksgiving.

Don’t skip meals. The large Thanksgiving lunch or dinner is certainly something to prepare for, but skipping a meal to allow “more room” for later will only mess with your metabolism and cause you to fill up to the point of nausea.

Although some of the best foods on Thanksgiving are high in sugar/fat/etc., don’t stop yourself from partaking of them entirely. Enjoying moderate serving sizes of a little of everything is better than not having any of something you really like. Plus, Thanksgiving leftovers are a thing, so you’ll have more than one opportunity to eat those delicious comfort foods.

Post-Thanksgiving dinner snacking is dangerous territory. You’re lying on the couch feeling happy and full and grateful, watching TV or scrolling through social media, munching away on something you just didn’t get enough of earlier. Avoiding or limiting the distractions of screens or whatever the pastime may be will help you to remain aware of how much you consume before the long nap ensues.

Lastly, instead of taking to the couch after dinner, engaging in a light activity is a great way to relieve yourself of the full, lethargic feeling that comes after heavy eating. Going for a walk, helping clean up in the kitchen, or dynamic yoga are all easy ways to exercise before going back for leftovers.