Turkey. Pumpkin Pie. Stuffing. Mmmmm mmm. The memories and smells already make the mouth water. The holiday season is not only a time for feasting on heavenly food, but also a moment where we can stop and breathe from our busy lives and enjoy time with family, reunite with loved ones, and watch a mean football game. Still, with all those buttery snacks around it’s important to keep yourself from overeating and loosening up the belt at the dinner table. Here are some tips to help you stay healthy this holiday season. Happy Feasting!

1. Drink Lots of Water

There will be tons of drinks around for you to savor on—eggnog, apple cider, sparkling cider, hot chocolate. Although these drinks are not highly caloric, multiple drinks mean multiple servings of sodium which, in combination with traditional Thanksgiving food, isn’t that healthy. Try replacing some of these drinks with good old fashioned H2O. Drinking water speeds up your digestive system and metabolism by flushing out toxins and waste products from your body. You’ll be able to stay hydrated without adding any extra calories.

2. Balance your Indulgences

It’s hard to pass up all the wonderful items on the dinner table, but you’ll have to make some rules to keep yourself from overindulging yourself. So to keep yourself from packing on too many unhealthy pounds, make sure you go for the healthy foods first. Grab vegetables and white meats for your plate before heading for the unhealthy stuff. That way by the time you reach that buttery pie, you’ll be cutting a smaller slice after filling yourself up on healthy greens.

3. Rise and Shine—Start Cooking Early

If you’re going to be in the kitchen this holiday, or if cooking Thanksgiving dinner is usually a family affair, then beware of the temptations. Tasting the stuffing or licking up the batter for pie may seem harmless, but all those extra samplings while you “save your stomach” for dinner are still opportunities to pack on calories. The best thing to do is get an early start on cooking. Start preparing the meal right after you finish breakfast. Cooking on a full stomach will keep you from sampling foods.

4. Press “Pause” on the Seconds

It’s hard to resist having second helpings of Thankgsiving food—it comes once a year right? But it’s important to remember that as good as it may be to have another go around of all the food on the table, those second servings  aren’t as benefeical for your health. Timing is important in this situation. Eat slowly to make sure you allow your mind and body enough time to process and digest the food. Then, wait at least 15-20 minutes before you dive in for second helpings. Your stomach needs time to let your brain know that it’s full. If there are leftovers, bust out the Tupperware and save it—don’t feel forced to follow grandma’s old rule about finishing everything on your plate.

5. Walk it Out

It’s so easy to just plop on the couch after a big Thanksgiving meal and turn on the television set. Instead of leaving food to sit in your stomach, go for a walk around your neighborhood or do something active. This doesn’t mean break away from family time and bust out the Denise Richardson workout tapes—a brief walk outside or an  active game on the Nintendo Wii is a fun way to start working off calories and get the family involved.

Want more juicy healthy tidbits? Check out Frugivore!

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