Thanksgiving dinner challenges

Thanksgiving is a time for saying grace, showing gratitude, watching football and catching up with friends and family members that you haven’t seen in a while.

The bad news is, it’s also a time when you have a tendency to overeat!

You often sit there and justify the fact that Thanksgiving only comes once a year so you’d like to splurge. That’s a cop out.

The sad reality is, one day of a no-holds-barred, food-fest can set you back weeks or even months with your fitness and nutrition goals.

Tips to avoid the Holiday indulgence

It’s not so much the overabundance of calories you will be consuming, it’s more a matter of setting yourself up for fall-out after the holiday is over.

If you have copious amounts of sugar-laden desserts, bread, stuffing and other simple carbs, you can fire up an old addiction and want those treats every day thereafter.

But this year will be different. You are going to be a good little boy or girl and follow my tips to prevent that atrocity from happening.

1. Eat an apple before dinner

Here’s a little interesting nugget of information I’ll bet you didn’t know.

It has been proven that eating an apple before a meal can help promote weight loss.

It’s due to this wonderful non-digestible substance called fiber. When you eat fiber-rich foods, you get filled up and stay full for an extended period of time.

Guess what happens on Thanksgiving Day when you eat an apple 30 minutes before your meal?

You feel full and eat less food.

Apples have also been cited as powerful antioxidants, anti-inflammatories and immunity boosters. Make sure to keep them organic!

2. Guzzle a big glass of water before you dine

Water has a similar effect on your body as an apple.

Drink 16 oz. as soon as you sit down to eat and you will quickly fill up. You won’t be getting any fiber here, but you also won’t be getting any calories.

3. Cut calories with your meal preparations

thanksgiving dinner ideas_2Use low–fat cream, butter and cheese where necessary in recipes for main dishes and desserts. Definitely cut back on the sugar too.

Use healthier alternatives like stevia, coconut nectar, coconut crystals or maple syrup for your baking needs.

And just for the record, I’m not a low-fat proponent at all. My suggestion to use low-fat options is purely to spare yourself excess calories.

4. Think twice before using gravy

Gravy is a calorie bomb and in some cases, you will see people drown everything in sight on their plate with this stuff. That’s not a wise move. It has a very rich flavor, which goes a long way. If you must have it, use it very sparingly. Drizzle it lightly over your turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes.

Personally, I think cranberry sauce is a much better option. It tastes terrific on turkey and is much lower in calories and higher in nutrients than gravy.

5. Spend some time at the appetizer table before dinner

If you do not like apples, this is another direction to take. Raw vegetables almost always appear at a Thanksgiving feast. If you know they won’t be at the event you are going to, bring your own. If you are hosting, then you have it made.

Why are these so valuable?

Because they contain a lot of water and fiber, which will fill you up. They’re also low in calories plus loaded with vitamins, minerals and nutrients.

Fix yourself a small plate of colored peppers, carrots, celery sticks, tomatoes and cucumber slices and enjoy them while you converse with fellow guests.

6. Ration out your portions

Instead of throwing giant portions of various foods on your plate, think in terms of frugality.

Take small portions of everything and treat your plate like a sampling platter. This way you won’t feel deprived.

Do the same with the dessert options. Even if they’ve been prepared a healthy way, the calories can still add up quickly. Take a bite-size portion of the desserts that you like and call it enough.

For my parting words; chew your food slowly and enjoy every bite.

If you eat fast, you will have a tendency to eat too much. Besides, it takes approximately 20 minutes for a message to be sent from your midsection to your brain, signaling satiety.

If you are in need of any more helpful pointers, just give me a shout. I always have your back through thick and thin!

Connect with Expert Kevin Rail

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