Thanksgiving — a long anticipated day for our taste buds, but dreaded day for our waistline! Don't let this day completely de-rail your healthy habits. With a few simple tips, you can survive Thanksgiving without packing on the infamous holiday pounds!

Don't Skip Breakfast
Start your day off with a balanced breakfast. Saving calories for the feast will likely cause you to overeat. Eating before your holiday meal will keep your hunger levels at a minimum, allowing you to make better decisions.

Get Moving
It's safe to say we'll be consuming more calories than usual over the holidays.  Make exercise a priority for the day. Whether it's a morning jog, bike ride, or walk, turn it into an event. Gather friends and family to join in an active game outside or go for an after dinner walk to get moving.

Get Cooking
Whether you are the host or a guest, prepare lighter versions of your favorite feast dishes to share! Most foods can be modified to healthier versions without sabotaging taste. Cut butter and sugar when you can for lower calories and fat. For inspiration, try out this lighter sweet potato dish at your party!

Ingredients:

  • 3 ½  lbs. sweet potatoes (peeled and cubed)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ¼ cup nutmeg
  • ¼ cup ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (divided)
  • 1 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • In a large pot, boil potatoes until soft
  • Mashed cooked sweet potatoes, add honey, nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon. Blend with mixer until smooth.
  • Spread sweet potato mixture into greased baking dish
  • Mix brown sugar, pecans, and ½ cinnamon in separate bowl.
  • Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over potatoes.
  • Bake 15-20 minutes.

Take it easy on alcohol
Food isn't the only culprit of weight gain over the holidays. Alcohol calories count too, and can add up quickly. Set a goal for yourself on how much you plan to drink before the evening begins. Between alcoholic drinks, take a sip of water or seltzer to help stay hydrated and limit calories.

Annie Courto is a full-time Registered Dietitian with  OnPoint Nutrition, providing weight loss and nutrition counseling.

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