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Published on November 25, 2019

5 Ways to Have a Healthy and Happy Thanksgiving 

5 Ways to Have a Healthy and Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving will be here before you know it! To help you prepare for a Thanksgiving that is both happy and healthy, Melissa Leonard, MS, RDN, LDN, shares 5 tips for eating mindfully.

Tip 1: Be sure to eat breakfast. If you skip breakfast, you're likely to get overly hungry by the time that Thanksgiving lunch of dinner is ready. Being overly hungry makes it much more likely that you will eat fast without thinking about how you feel, which can lead to overeating. 

Tip 2: Take time to savor your meal. Slowing the pace of eating helps you be more in tune with your body, which helps you know when you're full. Think about savoring all aspects of your food - the flavors, the textures, the smells – and remember the people you are sharing your meal with. Enjoy their company!

Tip 3: Have a plan for your leftovers. It can be tempting to overeat when you have delicious leftovers filling your refrigerator. You want to eat them before they go bad! Avoid overeating by portioning out future meals ahead of time and freezing what won't be eaten in the next 3-4 days. 

Tip 4: Pause before going back for seconds. Waiting for a moment before getting another plate of food can help you measure whether or not you are truly hungry. Take a break from eating and have a conversation with a loved one, then check in with your hunger. Feeling full? Don't worry, the leftovers will be just as delicious the next day! 

Tip 5: What about the pumpkin pie? There are no foods that are completely off-limits. Instead, there just some foods that benefit our health more than others. It’s OK to have a slice of of your favorite pie or a cookie – the key is to remember to enjoy these foods in moderation! 

About the Author

Melissa LeonardMelissa Leonard, MS, RDN, LDN, is a registered dietitian at Cone Health Nutrition and Diabetes Education Services in Greensboro.

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