Here’s How to Have a Healthy Thanksgiving (And Enjoy Every Second of It)

Nicole Schmitz
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Thanksgiving is upon us and there are parties, food, booze and sweets everywhere you turn. Many people feel they have to put their healthy lifestyles on pause from Halloween through New Year’s Day . . .

But is that really necessary?

In short, no! You can have a healthy Thanksgiving and practice a 90/10 rule with consistent, balanced, and healthy meals so you can enjoy more indulgent foods or drinks in moderation rather than giving in and giving up entirely.

Eating toxic candy all day on Halloween and making yourself sick on Thanksgiving from overeating is not something you have to do.
 

Many people feel they have to put their healthy lifestyles on pause from Halloween through New Year’s Day.

 
Just like choosing to workout, choosing to pass on dessert, or choosing to cook more meals at home, you can choose to make balanced, healthy choices each holiday and at social gatherings.

Overeating, consuming excess sugar, alcohol, and missing out on a regular workout or sleep schedule can have a major impact on your immune system and inflammation levels, and can also lead to weight gain.

Now is the perfect time of year to be prioritizing your self-care and making sure that when you can choose healthy, nourishing foods and habits, you do!
 
 

Have a Healthy AND Enjoyable Thanksgiving With These 5 Simple Tips:

Here are a few suggestions for not throwing your healthy lifestyle out the window this Thanksgiving (and every other social gathering this holiday season).
 

1. Don’t Fast in Preparation

Don’t save up your calories for a big night out. There’s no need to starve yourself all day so you can fill up on four servings of sweet potatoes with marshmallows. Eating a super heavy meal in the later part of the day kicks your digestive system into overdrive, disrupts your sleep, and wreaks havoc on your metabolism.

Instead, eat your normally scheduled breakfast and lunch and then choose a healthy, satisfying amount of food at dinner. Most importantly, listen to your body. Intuitive eating can be a helpful way to navigate through this holiday season.

Want to learn more about intuitive eating? Read this Intuitive Eating Guide
 
 

 

2. Avoid Grazing and Excess

Snacking while socializing can lead to overeating and tons of added fats and sugars that sneak their way onto your plate as you’re distracted in conversation. You deserve to enjoy yourself during these holiday functions, but you can enjoy your food slowly and mindfully.
 

You deserve to enjoy yourself during these holiday functions, but you can enjoy your food slowly and mindfully.

 
You don’t have to snack, then eat appetizers, the main course and have several drinks plus dessert. Instead, try enjoying good conversation over a slow glass of something you enjoy until dinner is ready.
 

3. Make Health Conscious Choices

Choose the best food options available. Fill up your plate with as many vegetables that you can, and avoid the temptations you know aren’t healthy (or use the 90/10 rule and treat yourself to a tiny serving of one tempting treat).

Just remember you can still control what goes on your plate and what goes into your mouth even when you didn’t personally prepare all the options in front of you.
 

4. Practice Self-Care

Thanksgiving is a holiday about gratitude and spending time with loved ones, but it can also be a time of stress that can take a toll on your health and mind state. Be sure that in addition to eating healthy on Thanksgiving, you’re taking time for self-care.
 

Feeling balanced and less stressed will add tremendously to your healthy Thanksgiving.

 
Whether your form of self-care is a massage, acupuncture, a nice bath, or reading a great book by the fire, take time to do what fills you up and helps you recharge. Feeling balanced and less stressed will add tremendously to your healthy Thanksgiving.

Need more tips on how to deal with holiday stress? Read 5 Mindful Tips to Help You Beat Holiday Stress
 
 

 

5. Recover Responsibly

If you do overeat, soothe your stomach by sipping on ginger tea (you can make fresh ginger tea by boiling some slices of fresh ginger root for 5-8 minutes with a little lemon and honey). If you overdid it on the alcohol, take a multivitamin or Emergen-C supplement before bed.

The next day, choose lighter, hydrating food options like soups and salads. Be sure you stay hydrated and get some exercise. Depending on how you feel, you can continue the ginger tea and go for a good walk or run or take an online yoga class.
 
 

Have a Healthy Thanksgiving and Enjoy Yourself!

Enjoy a Healthy Thanksgiving instead of “chalking it up to the holidays” and planning to “start over” in January. You only get one body. Take care of yourself now, and always!

November doesn’t have to be the month you experiment with a Whole30 cleanse or lose the 20 pounds you’ve been thinking about for the past 6 months. But November is the perfect time to maintain healthy lifestyle habits so you have the energy and immune system to keep up with all this busy season has to offer.

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Nicole Schmitz

Nicole L. Schmitz is a mama, Certified Health and Nutrition Counselor, Medicinal Aromatherapist, aspiring yogi, and writer. After facing her own share of challenges with managing her health, family, career, and personal growth, she’s created flexible, realistic programs to help navigate natural wellness for today’s woman in today’s world.

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