As Americans sit down for their annual smorgasbord of Thanksgiving delights — turkey or ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, etc. — there is one startling fact that may make us feel a tad less thankful. According to researchers, the average adult eats a whopping 3,000 calories on Thanksgiving Day. If the first colonial settlers indulged that much on the first Thanksgiving, it could very well have been their last Thanksgiving. Yet you needn’t let health concerns, guilt, or a painful sugar rush prevent you from enjoying time with friends and family this holiday season. With the right tips, tricks and strategies, we can all feast with merriment while simultaneously having a healthy Thanksgiving.
Tips for a Healthy Thanksgiving (Without Denying You the Pumpkin Pie!)
1. Get Enough Sleep the Night Before
Sure, there may be pastries to bake and a ham to glaze, but don’t let the holiday stress keep you up all night. Sleep scientists note that sleep is key for calorie balance because sleep deprivation throws your hunger-related hormones out of balance. In fact, sleep-deprived people tend to eat more calories (and crave unhealthy snacks, such as sweet foods or salty foods) compared to well-rested people.
Get more shut-eye, and you’ll be more immune to the unhealthy temptations at Thanksgiving dinner.
2. Drink Water Before You Eat
Numerous studies have found that drinking water 30 minutes before a meal helps to balance your hunger and moderate how much you want to eat. The results can be so powerful, that one study of overweight Americans found that drinking water before a meal led to 44% more weight loss than not drinking water. Just be sure to drink it well ahead and not too much, as it could dilute your digestive juices and lead to digestive upset.
If water is not your proverbial cup of tea, try actual tea. Green tea and black tea contain plant-based compounds that activate your metabolism and help you to burn more calories. Plus, they include antioxidants that boost your immune system. Drinking tea between meals can be a powerful way to reap these benefits.
3. Make Physical Activity Part of Your Healthy Thanksgiving Traditions
Many people enjoy watching football, or playing boardgames or video games as a way to relax and unwind after the big meal. But those aren’t your only options!
Consider ways to weave physical activity into your Thanksgiving traditions that’s fun for everyone involved.
Ideas might include playing a backyard sport, going for a walk as a family, or doing an outdoor fall-themed scavenger hunt.
4. Add Some Spice to Your Thanksgiving Meal
From a spicy pepper jam on your appetizer platter to a bottle of hot sauce for the mashed potatoes or ham, embrace spicy foods during the holidays. These foods have thermogenic properties, with the capsaicin in hot peppers triggering a faster metabolism rate in your body.
5. Take Your Supplements
Fiber supplements during the big day can help improve digestion and also balance your blood sugar, which is key if you’re indulging in sweet treats and high-carbohydrate foods. Other metabolism-enhancing supplements that may help ensure a happy, healthy Thanksgiving include:
- B vitamins
- Vitamin D
As an added bonus, each of the above supplements also help support your immune system. This is key during the cold and flu season when you and your family and friends are crowded together indoors. They also work well with BioPro-Plus 500, a 100% natural immune system supplement. This drug-free supplement is not a medication, but an aid to restore your body’s own natural immune response and is a great add-on to a healthy Thanksgiving.