Healthy Holiday Series: Day After Thanksgiving Tips

Getting back to healthy eating after a big holiday can be tricky, especially when we indulge a bit more at Thanksgiving dinner than we originally planned. Luckily, there are many healthy habits that can help you make up for some of the overindulging. Follow these tips to help you get back to healthy eating the day after Thanksgiving!

1. Have a Fruity Breakfast

The morning after Thanksgiving, reach for a piece of whole fruit or a bowl of fruit salad. Having a dose of fiber in the morning will help with digestion after eating a high-fat dinner the night before. Chances are, you might not be very hungry the morning after the large meal. A small breakfast that includes a piece of fruit will be just enough to keep you full and set your metabolism for the day.

2. Check Your Hydration

Aim to drink at least eight 8oz glasses of water throughout the day. Thanksgiving dinners can be loaded in sodium, which may require you to drink more fluids. Hydrating yourself is also important if you drank alcohol with dinner, as alcohol is a diuretic. In addition, drinking enough water will help with digestion, especially when coupled with high fiber meals.

3. Make a Game Plan for Leftovers

One of the best parts of Thanksgiving dinner is having a plethora of extra food for leftovers. However, having huge amounts of leftovers in the fridge can make it tempting to keep indulging throughout the week. Use these tips to tackle the leftovers wisely.

Turkey: Save the lean, white meat pieces for leftovers. Skip the dark meat and skin. Removing the skin from a piece of turkey can save you up to 10 grams of fat per serving!

Mashed Potatoes, Stuffing and Gravy: Because these foods can be high in fat and sodium, save yourself enough for just 1-2 servings of leftovers.

Veggie Side Dishes: These dishes can vary greatly in nutrition content. Lighter veggie dishes like Brussel Sprouts or Roasted Vegetables are a great choice for leftovers and can be enjoyed in larger portion sizes. For heavier veggie dishes like Green Bean Casserole or Sweet Potato Pie, also limit to saving enough for 1-2 servings.

4. Dessert Wisely

After Thanksgiving dinner, you may end up with several different kinds of cakes and pies leftover. To avoid going overboard, choose your most favorite dessert and save only one slice for leftovers. Also try eating the dessert with lunch rather than dinner. This will give your body more time to utilize the calories efficiently.

5. Make Your Plate Half Leftovers/Half Veggies

When heating a plate of leftovers, fill half your plate with non-starchy vegetables or salad. Getting enough fiber is important for everyday health and can also help with digesting high-fat and starchy foods, like the ones most commonly found in Thanksgiving dinner.

6. Eat 3 to 4 Meals Throughout the Day

While it may be tempting to have one big plate of leftovers and call it a day, aim to eat 3 to 4 meals throughout the day. Eating only one large meal can make you more likely to overeat and take in excess calories. Smaller, more frequent meals will help your body with proper digestion and with using the calories more efficiently.

7. Enjoy Yourself!

Choose the healthy tips that are best for you and incorporate them into your lifestyle. Remember, a healthy holiday is a happy holiday.

Bobby is the community and social media manager at Zipongo. He has a degree in nutrition and dietetics and previously worked as a health educator.

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