Sneaky Tricks for a Fit Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving doesn't have to be the beginning of the end as far as your waistline is concerned. It's possible to maintain your weight, stay in shape, and sneak in some healthy lifestyle markers during the holiday season. What tips can help you stay fit this Thanksgiving season?

1. Go for a walk. Make time for a walk either before or after you gobble down your Thanksgiving turkey. If you head out before you sit down to eat, you might feel a little better about (over)indulging on a table full of holiday goodies. Walking can also help aide in your digestion, so get the whole family motivated and head out for a walk and enjoy the fall foliage. Is there a playground nearby? The kids will love the opportunity to play and you'll appreciate the walk. Leave behind the chef for a few minutes of peace and quiet…they're sure to appreciate it!

2. Don't overdo the casseroles. Does your Thanksgiving table consist of twice baked mashed potatoes, cauliflower casserole, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, and other opportunities for your vegetables to swim in butter, milk, sour cream, and cheese? If so, consider a more diverse spread this season. Try low-fat sour cream in your garlic mashed potatoes. Use reduced fat cream of mushroom soup and skim milk in the green bean casserole. Try a platter of steamed broccoli, instead of broccoli casserole loaded with cheese. Small changes can make a big difference this Thanksgiving.

3. Drink water. The holidays are the perfect opportunity for a glass of wine or a cocktail with family and friends. Skinnygirl margaritas, for example, are a great choice. But don't forget to pour yourself water throughout the day and into the evening. Staying well-hydrated can help you avoid overeating just for eating's sake. You don't want to wake up on Black Friday with a hangover and a food hangover. For every cocktail you have, make sure you counter it with a large glass of water. Future you will thank you.

4. Pitch in. Don't be tempted to spend the day watching parades and football games from the couch. Bring up the table and chairs from the basement. Take the kids out into the backyard and push them on the swings. Toss around the ball yourself. Take the trash out, set the table, or walk to the local grocery store before it closes and grab that extra can of cranberry sauce. Stay up, stay moving, stay active, and you'll stay fit this Thanksgiving.

5. Give yourself a break. Your mental health is just as essential to your overall wellness as any other part of staying fit. If some of your relatives cause your blood pressure to rise, you can't handle the stress of large groups, or the pressure to be the perfect daughter is overwhelming you, your entire body will feel the impact. Find a quiet space to meditate. Take five minutes to yourself. Breathe in, breathe out. Everything else will fall into line.

Content by Kelly Herdrich.

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