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Tips to avoid overindulging at Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is just around the corner – and that means turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and all the fixings. It's very easy to overindulge at this time of year, especially if you have multiple family dinners to go to. But your diet doesn't have to suffer completely.

Here are some tips on how to keep from overindulging and still enjoy your Thanksgiving meal.

  1. Stick to healthy portions – Fill up half your plate with vegetables, a quarter of it with mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes, and a quarter of it with turkey or ham. The more colours, the better: eat lots of leafy greens, carrots, bell peppers and beets.
  2. Stick to single servings of the more unhealthy foods.
  3. Eat before you indulge. Don't starve yourself during the early part of Thanksgiving Day as this could lead to overeating when you sit down at the table. Make sure to have a healthy breakfast and lunch before supper.
  4. Substitute healthy ingredients for unhealthy ones. As an example, for mashed potatoes, try mixing in chicken broth, herbs or roasted garlic to add flavour instead of butter. Instead of sugary cranberry sauce, make a cranberry salad. If you're baking homemade pie, opt for whole wheat pie crusts and substitute low-fat or skim milk for evaporated milk.
  5. Drink lots of water - Sometimes when people think they are hungry, they are actually just thirsty. By drinking lots of water throughout the day, you'll lower the risk of overeating.
  6. Take a walk after eating to get your metabolism going.
  7. Avoid snacking throughout the day, as you can lose track of how much you have actually eaten.
  8. Go easy on alcohol – those are empty calories that add up fast.
  9. Savour your food slowly – Eating slowly, putting your fork down between bites, and tasting each mouthful is one of the easiest ways to enjoy your meal and feel satisfied with one plate.
  10. Everything in moderation – you're allowed to have a piece of apple or pumpkin pie. Just don't have 3 pieces. And keep the piece small – you don't need a huge portion to enjoy the flavour.