6 Tips for a Thinner Thanksgiving Weekend
It's hard to pay attention to healthy eating advice on the one day of the year when it's not just acceptable - but encouraged - to go overboard.
Yet Thanksgiving can be a slippery slope for diabetics, which is why it's important to mentally and physically prepare for the big day.
The following tips will not only help you navigate turkey day with ease, but can also ensure you have a thinner Thanksgiving weekend.
1. Eat before you eat.
Whether it's Thanksgiving meal itself or dinners out with family and friends, make sure to keep your blood sugar stable by eating before you actually sit down for an indulgent meal. This will ensure you don't "save" your appetite and accidentally go overboard at the main event.
Fill up on snacks with a good balance of protein and healthy fat, like nuts, seeds, cheese or avocado, while being mindful of calories and carbohydrates, too.
2. Don't stand near the snacks.
Research suggests that mere proximity to food can make you eat more of it. While chatting it up with family over cocktails, position yourself far from the appetizer trays.
If you're hosting your own Thanksgiving, serve the food buffet style so it's not a table-sitting temptation for seconds or thirds.
3. Up your exercise.
An all-or-nothing mentality is easy to slip into on holiday weekends, but don't think you've entirely blown it if you happen to indulge more than usual. Even a quick walk before and after the big meal can offset some of the calories, boost your metabolism and balance your blood sugar.
Commit to exercising at least 30 minutes every day during Thanksgiving weekend, and you'll avoid the lethargy that comes from overeating.
4. Drink wisely.
You can certainly enjoy a drink or two on Thanksgiving, but drink responsibly - and wisely. Alcohol tends to lower inhibitions around food, causing people to eat more. It also affects your blood sugar levels, so stick with low-carb drinks like wine, champagne, or spirits.
5. Be mindful of your portions.
Feel free to fill up your plate on turkey day, but make sure it mostly contains vegetables and lean protein.
Holiday favorites like stuffing, cranberry sauce and even mashed potatoes will rack up the calories and carbohydrates, so choose smaller portions of those.
6. Save your carbs for indulgences.
Keep track of your daily carbohydrate intake, and save those carbs for the foods you really want to enjoy. If you have a sweet tooth, skip the potatoes and have a slice of pumpkin pie, for example.
Try to opt for healthy carbs - the ones that come from whole grains or vegetables - and continue to monitor your blood sugar after the big meal to ensure you're in a safe range.
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