Thanksgiving dinner tips so you don't overdo the feast

From turkey to mashed potatoes, from ham to green bean casserole, from yams to pumpkin pie, the Thanksgiving supper is where you could fall victim to overdoing it.

The average American will consume 4,500 calories during the holiday meal, according to the Calorie Control Council. The human body gains a pound from 3,500 calories.

While you can indulge on this festive food day, you should keep your eating in check.

Here are some tips to mindful, healthy eating on Thanksgiving, according to Greatist:

Work an early walk in

Physical activity can help with creating a caloric deficit for the meal ahead. After all, an hour walk outside burns 400 to 600 calories.

There are various turkey trots offered, so keep those events in mind.

Don't skip breakfast

The most important meal of the day is still needed before the most important meal of the year.

Breakfast can stave off the urge to binge at dinner.


Dietitians generally recommend consuming a gallon of water daily, and this recommendation doesn't change for Thanksgiving.

They warn that not drinking enough water may cause you to succumb to hunger pangs. And with that, you binge.

Dim the lights

Greatist cites a Cornell University study in which soft music and dimmed lights at dinner result in eating less. The results suggested that the dim lights cause diners to linger with their food and essentially enjoy it.

While this is seen in one study, it might be worth trying at Thanksgiving.

Keep liquid calories in mind

Cocktails like any fruit juice with vodka would pack the calories for diners. Wine and beer can do that trick, too.

Healthier cocktails like a flavored sparkling water and vodka might help stem the excess sugar.

Don't jump right in to seconds

While the first helping doesn't have to meet the 4,500-calorie threshold, the seconds might.

You should take 20 minutes to digest things and think over your plans for another helping. If you feel like heading to the buffet again, go ahead and do it.

Don't dis dessert

There's no need to deprive yourself of dessert, but do so in moderation.

One slice of a decadent pie is allowable.

Track your calories

A journal that tracks and adds up your caloric intake can give you a mental block from overdoing it.

Get enough sleep

Experts suggest lacking sleep before the big day causes one to overdo the feast.

Sleep of seven to nine hours Wednesday night can help in your mission to feel satisfied at Thanksgiving dinner.

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