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The holidays are the hardest time of year to eat healthily. This Thanksgiving, when you eat your turkey dinner, it doesn’t have to be a completely unhealthy meal. Luckily, a Thanksgiving turkey means you’ll be eating lean white meat, which is a great start toward better eating.
In fact, you can enjoy your meal without increasing your cholesterol or waistline. That’s why we give you these six tips to practice this Thanksgiving.
1. Toss the Turkey Skin
Here’s a helpful and healthy Thanksgiving tip: As soon as you grab a slice of turkey, trim off the skin. Though delicious, the skin is very high in fat — and not the good kind. Toss the skin before you even start eating. If you leave it on your plate, you may eventually be tempted to nibble.
2. Eat Before Dinner
This healthy Thanksgiving tip will best prepare you for the table! Don’t deprive yourself before your Thanksgiving dinner. Eat a hearty breakfast and lunch complete with in-between snacks throughout the day. If you show up at dinner starving, you’ll be more likely to overeat and your body will have a harder time digesting the heavy meal.
3. Eat Plenty of Vegetables
Before reaching for turkey and potatoes, fill two-thirds of your plate with a rainbow of vegetables. Healthy holiday veggies will fill you up and keep you from indulging in unhealthy food.
4. Drink Lots of Water
A quick festive season suggestion: Drink plenty of water before and during your meal! Not only does your mind often interpret thirst as hunger, but water will help your stomach stay full and keep you from overeating. Plus, you won’t pack on any of the additional calories soft drinks and other beverages can add to your meal.
5. Limit Sweets
Our healthy holiday advice? Limit the sweets! Aim for a teaspoon or two of cranberry sauce instead of drowning your turkey in it. This yummy treat is high in sugar so you should eat it in moderation. When it comes to dessert, you don’t have to avoid it altogether. If you’ve eaten a healthy meal, you can indulge yourself in a sliver of pie or small portion of ice cream. If you’re still craving more, continue eating fruit to satisfy your sweet tooth in a healthier way.
6. Leave the Dinner Table After Eating
The simplest pieces of healthy Thanksgiving advice? Once you’re done eating, leave the table. The entire dinner party should move to another room to chat and spend time together. Hanging out around the table may tempt you to snack on some leftovers.
Each of these tips is important if you want to eat healthily on Turkey Day! Remember, you can leave those unhealthy Thanksgiving foods behind and still enjoy a delicious meal — and feel healthy afterward!