Image of a turkey surrounded by fruit and vegetables.

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and if you’re like most health-conscious Americans, you might be feeling nervous about your waistline during the holidays.

At Optimal Health Medical Fitness, we know that the holidays can be especially hard for those trying to lose weight, so in today’s post, we’re going to provide you with a few healthy eating tips that you can use at this year’s dinner table.

Are you interested in learning more about personal training? Whether you’re looking to lose weight, build muscle, or simply become a healthier version of yourself, our Naperville health and fitness experts are here to guide you through each and every step of your fitness journey.

For a limited time only, we’re running a number of Black Friday deals for new and current members. These promotions end November 30, 2019, so don’t miss out on these incredible opportunities to save!

How to Maintain Your Diet During Thanksgiving

Don’t Starve Yourself Photo of green beans in a pot with garlic.

Saving up calories sounds good in theory, but it almost always fails in practice. But why?

Think about the last time you went to Thanksgiving at a friend or family member’s house. Could you smell everything in the kitchen before they even opened the door? Did they have a beautiful selection of sweet and savory appetizers that you couldn’t wait to get your hands on?

You get the idea.

If you skip breakfast and/or lunch and starve yourself until later, you’ll find it much harder to resist tempting treats. In fact, you may end up getting hungrier and eating more than you would have on a normal day! So, eat healthy, protein-filled snacks throughout the day so you aren’t ravenous by the time the turkey hits the table.

Bring Your Own Food (BYOF)

If you’re feeling apprehensive about what will be on the menu, bring your own food to guarantee that healthy options will be available.

You don’t have to be that person who brings a store-bought vegetable tray that only takes up counter space, either. There are plenty of healthy recipes out there that are sure to be a hit with everyone in attendance!

As one example, Brussels sprouts are incredibly versatile and can make a great diet-friendly side dish. You can also roast your own vegetables and make low-sugar versions of your favorite desserts. We’re willing to bet that you won’t be the only health-conscious person at the table, and anyone else watching their waistline will appreciate what you bring!

Snack Slowly

Don’t get us wrong — we know just how tempting (and delicious) it can be to fill up a plate full of sweet and savory appetizers when amazing aromas are wafting out of the kitchen. However, many Thanksgiving appetizers pack a huge caloric punch and can derail your diet before the main course has been prepared.

If you’re going to snack while you talk with friends and family members, we recommend bringing your own healthy appetizer or finding something light like vegetables and hummus. We also recommend sipping water and eating slowly to prevent yourself from going back and forth for additional snacks.

Go Easy on the Drinks Photograph of people toasting wine at Thanksgiving.

It’s easy to reach for a few beers or glasses of wine during Thanksgiving, especially if you have all of your relatives in one place! We won’t tell you to completely cut out the alcohol this Thanksgiving (that would be cruel!), but we will remind you that the calories in alcoholic beverages can add up quickly. Moreover, you might have a hard time turning down a second or third plate once you’ve knocked a few drinks back!

If you’re planning to drink this Thanksgiving, stick to dry red wines, low-carb beer, or alcoholic seltzers to minimize the impact on your diet. If you enjoy hard liquor, opt for clear, unflavored liquors like gin, vodka, and tequila. You can mix them with sugar-free seltzer water and fruit for a low-carb, low-calorie mixed drink!

Schedule Workouts Before and After

There’s no denying that the days leading up to Thanksgiving are busy. If you’re worried about tempting treats derailing your progress during Thanksgiving, commit to working out in the days before and after. You can try recruiting a friend if you need extra motivation, or you can get in touch with one of our talented personal trainers!

Also, keep in mind that a single cheat day won’t sabotage your progress if you’ve been diligent and dedicated all month long. Sure, you might see the scale fluctuate and feel a bit sluggish if you indulge in carb-heavy sides and a slice of pie dessert, but it’s the long run that matters more than anything else.

Find a Personal Trainer in Naperville

We hope that today’s post will help you stay on track as Thanksgiving and the rest of the holiday season approach. If you enjoyed today’s entry, be sure to keep an eye on our blog page in the coming weeks for even more tips for healthy eating!

No matter what happens to your diet during the holidays, remember that it’s never too late to start working on yourself again. If you would like the help and support of a dedicated personal trainer, please get in touch with us before November 30 to take advantage of our 2019 Black Friday deals:

  • New clients receive unlimited personal training for just $99.
  • Returning clients receive 50% off any of our personal training packages.
  • Current clients receive 25% off for referring new clients.

We look forward to helping you take the first steps toward a healthier, happier life!