For those just starting their health and wellness journey, there may be a lot of anxiety around Thanksgiving dinner. They may be worried about taking in so much food and calories, derailing progress, and just nervous about navigating this holiday that is focused around a large meal. However, it is important to remember that leading a healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean that you don’t get to partake in holidays and eat delicious food. It does require some restraint, portion control, and moderation, but health and fitness should enhance our lives, not restrict it! Keep in mind that this holiday is one day out of 365 days!  One meal isn’t going to make you unhealthy or ruin the progress you have made. So, take this day to surround yourself with family and friends, practice gratitude, and enjoy a special meal without tracking calories, or feeling anxious and guilt ridden.

Here are a few tips to help you as you prepare for Thanksgiving dinner:

1. Be mindful. Don’t eat thoughtlessly. Enjoy yourself, but be aware of what you are consuming.

2. Listen to your body. Pay attention to your body when it tells you that you are full. Slow down and stop when you feel satisfied. Don’t eat until you are uncomfortable and have eaten too much.

3. Don’t skip meals. Don’t try to save your calories by skipping breakfast and lunch. This will only leave you feeling so hungry and cause you to binge at dinner! Eat normal meals so that you can take in proper portions later in the day.

4. Practice portion control. Eat what you want, but don’t overserve yourself. Eat single serving size portions.

5. Skip seconds. Try and avoid going back for more. Though one plate is generally going to satiate you, especially if you are getting enough protein.

6. Drink water. Don’t forget to continue drinking your water!

7. Prioritize protein. Protein helps with satiety!

8. Limit your alcohol. Allow yourself only a couple of alcoholic beverages.

9.  Move your body. You don’t need to earn your meal with a crazy workout, but try and move your body, this will help with boosting your metabolism. Walking after a meal is also good for digestion.

10. Eat the dessert. Don’t go crazy, but you can and should enjoy dessert!

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