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Healthy Thanksgiving – Get the Exciting Tips to be Happy

healthy thanksgiving

Healthy Thanksgiving image - (Image Credit: Shutterstock)

Story At-A-Glance
  • Thanksgiving is a national holiday to give honor for the blessings people have received in the past year.
  • Americans mark this year's Thanksgiving on November 26.
  • Families gather and share food during Thanksgiving.
  • There are many ways to celebrate a safe, happy, and healthy Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Day is when people ruminate about the blessings and positive things in life. It is also the time when families reunite and share food. While the world remains in pandemic mode, there are ways to stay safe, healthy, and happy during this difficult time. 

Remain Fit, Healthy, and Happy On Thanksgiving Day

For many, Thanksgiving Day is the official ‘opener’ of the holiday season. It is the time of abundance, gratitude, and togetherness. Thus, it can be pretty challenging for people who are on a weight loss program or those who keep up a healthy lifestyle. Here are some strategies to enjoy the feast to the fullest without derailing your bottle figure:

  • Eat on a smaller plate. Studies have shown that people who eat on a smaller plate eat less compared to people who eat on a larger platter.
  • Do not come around with an empty stomach. People who come hungry during feast are more likely to binge-eat.
  • Drink water. Choose water over coffee and alcohol drinks. Water does not only quench thirst but also keeps you hydrated, and it improves satiety.
  • Create a positive frame of mind. Thanksgiving Day used to be celebrated for three days, but now, it is a one-day feast. Enjoy the company of your loved ones. Remember to connect and reconnect.
  • Consider playing games or exchanging gifts. Make the feast day fun and entertaining by playing a party game, such as card play, bingo, or guessing game. Exchanging gifts is not a requirement, but in some places, visitors often bring gifts, flowers, or wine to the host.

Thanksgiving fun

Tips For Happy And Healthy Thanksgiving: Stay Cautious & Vigilant

While most countries reinstate lockdown measures, it is important to observe safety precautions when socializing and handling food. Observe social distancing at all times, wear a face covering, and wash hands frequently.

Avoid going to public places when necessary. Consider using online platforms when buying groceries and performing transactions. Some families postpone the physical gathering this year. Instead, they will celebrate Thanksgiving virtually.

What People Should Be Careful Of During Thanksgiving

1. Avoid gluten.

People who are gluten allergic, sensitive, and people with celiac disease should steer clear from gluten-based food products, such as cereals, bread, and pasta. Soy sauce, catchup, and some processed meats may also contain gluten proteins as stabilizing agents. Thus, paying attention to food content is essential to avoid associated problems.

Celebrate a healthy Thanksgiving by eating a gluten-free menu. Popcorn, rice, soy, and potatoes are several popular options.

2. Ditch the dairy.

Dairy is a good source of saturated fats. People who are sensitive or intolerant to gluten may also encounter intolerance from lactose. Adopt a healthy eating regime swapping dairy products. Replace milk and dairy preparations with soya milk and yogurt. Alternatively, look for ‘dairy-free’ or ‘vegan’ labels on food products. 

3. Avoid alcohol.

People often socialize at Thanksgiving parties with alcoholic drinks. Drinking in moderation is good and acceptable. Too much of it can be detrimental. Alcohol Research and Health[1] discusses the psychosocial and cognitive effects of alcohol and why drinking is a cultural norm.

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, moderate drinking is no more than two drinks in men and no more than one drink in women in a day. Enjoy the festive gathering by not drinking too much. Consider drinking soda, fruit juice, or a hot drink over alcoholic drinks. Finally, create a mindset not to drink too much.

Avoid alcohol

4. Eat with purpose.

Eat mindfully. A mindful eating practice not only improves digestion and appetite but also enhances learning and deters compulsive behaviors such as overeating, Scientific Reports says. Practice mindful eating by eating slowly, chewing thoroughly, and eliminating distractions like mobile phones. 

5. Go green.

Survive the Thanksgiving party by eating fewer meats, cutting wasteful products, or using organic products. There are delicious, healthy plant-based dishes you can put on the table during this special day.

Instead of having roast turkey, opt for lentil soup, shepherd’s pie, and native wellington – these are examples of healthiest Thanksgiving foods. On the other hand, be environment-friendly by utilizing reusable dinnerware rather than disposables. 

6. Relax.

Are you hosting a Thanksgiving party? Don’t fret. Relax. Make the preparation less stressful by planning ahead of time. Allowing ample time to prepare will help you enjoy the moment with guests.

Prepare everything you need, let’s say ingredients the night before, so there will be no squabbling on the day of celebration. Of course, don’t forget to get a night of beauty sleep. 

7. Support local farmers.

There are good reasons why people should start patronizing local products. Local food is more nutritious and health-giving. Farmers allow fruits and vegetables to ripen naturally and pick them freshly.

The use of chemicals and fertilizers in growing crops are also very minimal. Thus, great for the environment. Ultimately, by buying local food, we are serving our hard-working farmers. By helping them earn more, their hard work pays off in providing us food supply and reducing hunger.

support local farmers
 

8. Share your eating habits with friends.

Eating with others more often influences a healthy eating habit. Social relationships affect eating behavior. The more we eat with friends and family, the more likely we eat less but healthily.

Social Science and Medicine provides evidence of this. The researchers found out that people, particularly men who have infrequent friend contact, consumed less variety of fruits and vegetables.

9. Know yourself and keep your goals firmly in mind.

Thanksgiving is the time to be grateful and cultivate generosity. It is giving thanks to God. Whether you are thinking about what to prepare, who you should invite, or how to entertain the guests, you should keep in mind the real essence of Thanksgiving.

Keep the celebration simple yet memorable. Have meaningful conversations and share experiences with friends and forget about being on your phone.

10. Start Thanksgiving with physical activity and stay active.

Thanksgiving celebration does not only start and end on a food binge. Make any physical activity a part of the feast! Spend time with family members and friends while burning a few calories.

Play football with kids, go for a bike ride in the park, go walking around the block, or help out in chores – these help loosen the belt before devouring another food round. 

Conclusion

Thanksgiving Day is more than a national holiday and dinner service. It is the time when family and friends get together, catch up with each other, and acknowledge the bountiful blessings they have received. Stay fit, safe, healthy, and happy during Thanksgiving by sticking to a regular fitness schedule, mindful eating, and a positive mindset.

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