But this year, the experts from the nation’s leading Health and Wellness Center, the Pritikin Longevity Center, put together helpful tips so you can control the holiday binges, avoid post-meal bloat (and loosening of the belt) and have a healthier holiday all season long!
1. Eat Breakfast: Start Thanksgiving Thursday with a big bountiful breakfast like hot whole-grain cereal and an egg-white omelet brimming with veggies. That’s because saving up calories for the big meal rarely works. You end up “spending” a lot more by overindulging on belly busters like a full ladle of gravy (about 800 calories!) instead of a tablespoon-size taste (70 calories).
2. Pitch In: Call your host and say, “I’d love to bring something. What are you planning on serving?” If you discover that one of the dishes is particularly unhealthy, offer to bring your own version. Sweet potatoes, for example, can be real killers – full of butter, syrup, and marshmallows. But when prepared within Pritikin guidelines, they’re perfectly healthy – and absolutely delicious.
3. Know Yourself: For most of us, there’s a certain part of the meal that gives us the most trouble. For some, it’s alcohol. For others, it may be dessert. Devise a strategy before the meal to avoid an uncontrollable urge during the meal.
4. Position Yourself Well: Don’t put yourself right in front of the candy dish. Who needs the agony? Plant yourself elsewhere, facing other pleasures – a nice fire, warm smiles, good tunes and a dance floor. You’ll have a much better time, and you’ll like yourself a lot more come morning.
5. Divide Your Plate Well: Fill your plate half with vegetables, one quarter with white turkey meat, and the rest with a healthy starch, like corn on the cob, a baked potato, or sweet potatoes Pritikin-style.
6. Savor Every Bite: Eat slowly, putting your fork down between bites, and really savor each mouthful. It’s one of the easiest ways to enjoy your holiday meal without going overboard on calories.
7. Do What You Want; No One’s Watching: People often think that if they say "no" to certain dishes, everyone notices, or the host is insulted, when in fact there’s a very good chance no one notices. Just play it down. Simply say, "No thanks, I’m full," or "Try me later." Then, sit back and enjoy the rest of the evening.
8. Start Thanksgiving with Physical Activity – And Stay Active: Take a walk early in the day. And after dinner, suggest everyone go out (if the weather permits) for a neighborhood stroll. What a wonderful way for families to enjoy the holiday together. Another tip: Plan some outdoor fun before dinner, like a game of soccer or volleyball with the kids. (It’s a great strategy for keeping the appetizer buffet at bay, too.)
9. Keep Your Goals Firmly In Mind: Before leaving for the party, steal away for a little quiet time to focus on you, only you. Take a few deep breaths, and remind yourself of your ultimate vision – a leaner you, a healthier you, a happier you.
10. Avoid the "All or Nothing" Mentality: No one’s perfect. If you go overboard, don't let it turn into an "I blew it" binge that lasts till January 1st. The trick, come morning, is getting right back on track. Toward that effort, make sure that you’re returning home to a refrigerator well stocked with healthy foods for the day after Thanksgiving. Hearty whole-grain cereal for breakfast. A great big salad for lunch. Nonfat yogurt and fresh fruit for snacks. Yes, you are back on track!
About the Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa:
Pritikin Longevity Center + Spa is a brand new, 650-acre fully renovated private wellness spa and weight loss health program. Complete with exceptional fitness trainers, award winning chefs, nutritionists and renowned spa treatments. The center boosts tons of experts from health to nutrition and fitness to spa and wellness. People from all over the world travel to Pritikin to get their health back on track and get their bodies back in shape. For more information, please visit www.pritikin.com.
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