I love Thanksgiving, I think it may be my favorite holiday:  no expectations, no presents, no religious overtones – just a gathering of friends and family to celebrate all the things we are grateful for in our lives.  What could be better?

Unfortunately, a lot of eating and drinking also goes hand in hand with being thankful and grateful on this day and it’s way too easy to go overboard with calories and consumption.

Who can resist those yummy sweet potatoes with marshmallows or mom’s homemade stuffing…not to mention that gooey pecan pie!  All these wonderful delicacies make it almost impossible to be disciplined, right?   WRONG!

Just because it’s Thanksgiving doesn't mean we have to sabotage our weight.  With some helpful tips, we won’t have to forego our favorite foods and we can still enjoy a guilt-free feast. Get ready to let the turkey be the only thing that gets stuffed tomorrow!

Here are some recommendations to keep us off that slippery slope leading to over-indulgence on Turkey Day – and leaving room for some dessert while we’re at it.

1.     Eat Breakfast!  You might be thinking that it makes sense to just save up all your calories for the Big Meal, but that couldn't be farther from the truth.  Try eating a small, but satisfying breakfast like a green smoothie with a couple of hard-boiled eggs or maybe some yummy health bread or a bowl of oatmeal with blueberries. This way we won’t be starving when the festivities begin and all that tempting food rolls out!

2.     Police your portions!  Fill up half your plate with vegetables, a quarter of your plate with a starch (stuffing/potatoes), and the other quarter with turkey.  When we eat these low-in-calories/high-in-nutrition foods, we feel full – but not bloated.

3.     Hydrate!  We often mistake hunger for dehydration so drink lots of water throughout the day and you’ll lower your risk of overeating.

4.     Slow down!  By taking our time eating – even just by putting our fork down between bites – we allow ourselves to really taste each mouthful, so we’re guaranteed to enjoy our meal more and gain more satisfaction from it.

5.     Location, location, location!  Try not to position yourself in front of the cheese board or the candy dish.  Sit next to a nice warm fire or next to good friends. You’ll enjoy yourself more – and like yourself better come Friday morning!

6.     Stay away from seconds!  If we eat our breakfast, watch our portions, hydrate, gab with friends, and just slow down, we’ll be far too happy enjoying our firsts to go for more.  Besides, did you see those desserts getting ready for prime time?  I don’t know about you, but I’ll be glad I’ve left room for a slice pumpkin pie.

Remember: Thanksgiving is a time for celebration, so let’s not be hard on ourselves.  Just the intention to eat healthy on this famous eating holiday is a great way to start the day.  And if we do happen to overeat?  That’s why we have the next morning: to get back on track again! 

Every meal is a Monday Morning!

Happy Thanksgiving!