How to Feel Healthy & Happy This Thanksgiving Dinner

food on the table with two people having wine

Eating. Let’s be real… Thanksgiving is all about the eating. Wine! Pie! Carbs! Oh, my!

Although this is the holiday all about stuffing yourself, you don’t have to feel like a stuffed turkey this year! Follow these steps below to feel happier and healthier after Thanksgiving dinner this year.

 Eat Breakfast

Many people skip breakfast the day of Thanksgiving in order to successfully stuff themselves for the meal! Binge eating may sound fun, but after you do it, the regret will come seeping in like the gravy on your plate. Eat a complete, healthy breakfast and celebrate food all day long! There will be several hours between your breakfast and the Thanksgiving meal, so no need to worry about “not being hungry enough”. Trust me. You’ll feel much better.

Be Active That Day

Move that body! Start your day off sweating and you’ll feel much better about the big Thanksgiving meal. I kick start every Thanksgiving with a light jog, but even a nice, long walk will suffice. In fact, I find that a physical activity outdoors is a great way to spend time with your family members before the big meal! Try suggesting a walk or tossing the football around in the front yard to some family members – I think you’ll find that you’ve just started a fun new Thanksgiving day tradition.

four person standing at top of grassy mountain

Set A Few Personal Boundaries

We all have our weaknesses, and they’re all different. So whether yours is alcohol or carbs or dessert, identify the thing you most like to indulge in before the Thanksgiving day meal. Then, set a boundary for yourself. Perhaps limit yourself to just 3 drinks or smaller helpings of dessert. Set whatever limit you need to ultimately feel great! That way, you can still indulge without totally overdoing it.

brown pastry and cupcake in chopping board

My biggest Thanksgiving secret: portions, portions, portions!

This is quite possibly the most important piece of turkey day advice! Although Thanksgiving has become a holiday all about binge eating and extremism, I cannot emphasize this secret enough! You’ll still get to enjoy every single dish on that Thanksgiving table, without feeling overly full or sick afterward. Be sure to fill your plate with a nice variety – from turkey to mashed potatoes and gravy to pie – just be mindful of the amount. This will allow you to experience the full spectrum of delicious flavors, without the belly.

Forgive, forget & start over!

This tip is also very important. We tend to punish ourselves for overeating on Thanksgiving, but I encourage you to change up your inner dialogue this year. The holidays are a wonderful time to indulge, enjoy the things that make you feel good, and be present. While the steps above are quick and easy ways to make yourself feel better, I ultimately encourage you to relax and enjoy yourself this holiday season.

If you do find yourself indulging a bit more than you’d like, don’t spend the next day (or weeks) punishing yourself. Instead, turn that guilt into motivation. If you’re feeling the post-Thanksgiving blues, I recommend taking out a sheet of paper and writing out 3 goals to make yourself feel good. Whether it’s walking twice a day, limiting drinking to weekends only, or doing an at-home spa day, identify the ways you can boost your body and your mind. You deserve it.

Happy holidays, everyone!

people toasting wine glasses