Learning how to eat healthy on Thanksgiving is easy with these diet strategies. Special occasion meals can be enjoyed while still staying on track with your health and weight loss goals.
Some people call these “cheat meals”, but you aren’t a cheater. You are a beautiful, strong woman who wants to prioritize your health and sometimes just enjoy a special occasion without having to worry about every bite you take.
Before we start, I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on the internet. This content isn’t intended to substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
How to Eat Healthy on Thanksgiving – You’ve Got This
Here’s a more helpful way of looking at these days. Categorize them as “off” days. You’re “off” your normal schedule. You’re “off” clean eating. For this one day, you’re “off” being 100% committed.
“On” days, on the other hand, are the days when you’re mindful of your meals, snacks, drinks, and exercise.
Be sure to read to the end to learn my secret weapons to Thanksgiving Weight Loss.
The 80/20 rule applies to Thanksgiving. If you eat clean 80% of the time and go off 20% of the time, you can still achieve your health goals.
By using the 80/20 rule, you build the powerful habit of getting back on track after off days. Plus, your 80% on diet more than makes up for the 20% of the time you’re off.
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How to Eat Healthy on Thanksgiving with Flexibility
Of course, when you make a push to lose weight, you want to be closer to 100% clean eating and working out, but that isn’t normally sustainable in the long run. You need flexibility in your life.
Even 90/10 gives you plenty of room for a fabulous Thanksgiving meal.
You’re faced with temptations all the time and having some treats or off days here and there when you are working hard on your health goals isn’t going to slow you down.
Going off Plan for Thanksgiving Weight Loss
In fact, going off-plan might be exactly what you need to help keep you motivated.
Off days are like a relief valve. You know your off day is coming so you focus your efforts to be “on” before and after that day.
Also, an off day can drive home exactly how bad you feel when you eat overly processed food or foods that cause you to feel bad.
If I eat wheat, the next day I feel it in my joints and it encourages me to make more mindful choices going forward.
How to Eat Healthy on Thanksgiving by Front Loading Water
Get your water in early. Let’s face it Thanksgiving day comes with lots of enticing drinks. From fancy sparkling cider to mules or a lovely glass of wine.
You could try to drink all 8 glasses of water throughout the day, but if you are honest with yourself, it gets harder as the day progresses.
Besides, you don’t want to water down your digestive juices. Your stomach needs all the help it can get to process this feast.
So start water early. Measure your 8 glasses out the night before. Get your favorite cup or bottle, straw, and make those 8 glasses of water happen before the festivities begin.
Challenge yourself not to have a morning beverage before you’ve had at least 4 cups of water. Have the last 4 cups while you get ready or start food preparations.
Now you’re ready for a nice filling low-calorie breakfast.
How to Eat Healthy on Thanksgiving – Breakfast Choices
Sometimes, skipping breakfast isn’t the worst thing you can do. But know thyself.
Will coffee with cream keep you full enough to not overindulge when the appetizers finally hit the table?
And when will you have access to food?
These questions help you decide whether you can skip breakfast to save those calories for later or whether you’re better off eating breakfast.
If you know you’ll make more mindful decisions with a full stomach, start your day with a low-calorie, high protein breakfast. Something to take the edge off.
A couple of scrambled eggs with veggies is always a safe bet.
Healthy Thanksgiving Strategy – Is It All Good?
Do you really love every dish at Thanksgiving?
Of course, Hawaiian rolls are tasty, but maybe not as tasty as stuffing and mashed potatoes. Or perhaps, super sweet yams with marshmallows turn your stomach. You don’t have to eat everything served.
Save room for what you truly enjoy and skip those high-calorie sides that don’t really add any enjoyment to your plate.
Savor and Enjoy
Instead of a nibble here and there all afternoon, fill your plate with appetizers, sit down with a drink, and relish the deliciousness.
Not sure what you’ll like best? Take a tiny bit of everything. Then go back for the things you loved most. Always keep in mind – there is more goodness coming.
Thanksgiving is like one big all-day meal.
After your meal, you could have seconds, but remember, desserts are up next.
Yes, the food is yummy but not when you are so full your stomach hurts.
Part of enjoying any feast is being aware of your physical comfort level.
This Simple Activity Burns Calories
Dress to impress but also to walk. Make sure you have your walking shoes and a proper outdoor jacket.
A stroll around the neighborhood helps with digestion. Plus, it uses up those extra calories circulating through your bloodstream right after a meal.
Secret Weapons for Thanksgiving Weight Loss
Activated charcoal tablets are one of your secret weapons. Take these any time you’re eating a large heavily processed meal. My favorite brand.
Activated charcoal has had its surface area expanded so it absorbs more toxins and helps the body rid itself of unwanted substances. This natural detoxifier also helps alleviate gas and bloating.
If you take medication, check with your healthcare provider before using activated charcoal as it can also absorb drugs from your system.
The best time to take activated charcoal is 1-4 hours after eating. I take 2 capsules after dinner and two more after dessert.
Digestive enzymes are your second secret weapon for Thanksgiving weight loss.
Digestive enzymes not only help you digest a large meal, but they help your digestive system process the smorgasbord of nutrients you eat too.
Take 1 digestive enzyme before a large meal.
Relax and Have Fun
One off day will not derail you.
On average, to maintain your weight, you can eat 2000 calories a day.
You would then need to add another 3,500 calories to your average daily calorie intake to gain 1 lb of body weight.
That’s a huge amount of calories in the bank to spend on Thanksgiving.
The most important part of any “off” day is getting right back “on” track afterward.
When you get back on track immediately following a day or two of being off track you’re golden.
Being healthy is about making healthy decisions most of the time.
Sometimes it’s just as important to enjoy a special holiday with friends and family without obsessing about your food.
Weight loss is a side effect of healthy living which makes healthy ways – Shapely Ways.
What’s your family’s must-have Thanksgiving dishes? Which one do you look forward to the most?
Thank you for being here and chatting with me about all things health. Health journeys are made more fun when shared, so be sure to leave a comment below. ❤️
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