Healthy Thanksgiving Tips

Thanksgiving is here! In my house it means being around food and a lot of it. If you are on the quest to stay healthy this holiday season, you are not alone. I am not suggesting that you don’t enjoy this holiday. I love Thanksgiving and the values it teaches. Thanksgiving teaches family, gratitude, and thankfulness. Thanksgiving is also about sharing food. Food provides nutrition to our body and on holidays like thanksgiving brings us closer to our loved ones.

There are ways to enjoy this holiday, the traditional thanksgiving food and still stay on track with your nutritional habits. Here are my top five tips:

Get your workout IN

National holiday doesn’t mean it’s no workout day. Keep your daily or weekly workout routine on the calendar. Sign-up for a Turkey trot and run it while having fun. Local gyms have special HIIT style classes on the schedule. So, hit the gym and get your metabolism revved up with high intensity session.

Go outdoors

Get moving outdoors. You can make it a family affair. Go visit a local park with kids. Take your guests and kids to a trail and go hiking late morning or early afternoon. Research shows that hiking has a positive impact on combating the symptoms of stress and anxiety. You will serve as a mood booster and will be a great bonding activity for your family and friends. Go for a gratitude run or walk. I love logging gratitude miles on Thanksgiving Day. I offer thanks for something or someone each mile I run. Offering gratitude in this manner makes up a nice long run too.

Eat all your meals

I have heard this so many times. I’m saving space for dinner tonight. Please don’t skip breakfast and lunch. It isn’t healthy to skip meals. It makes you super hungry by dinner and it slows your metabolism. Starving all day will only make you eat everything in sight! Start your day with a balanced breakfast. A couple of hours before dinner eat a light lunch or snack. Include thanksgiving flavors in these meals. Like go for pumpkin pancakes, eggs with a side of roasted squash. For lunch go for a fall salad topped with roasted chicken and pumpkin seeds. Spreading out the Thanksgiving flavors throughout the day will give your body time to digest and be satisfied. It will ensure your blood sugar is stable and you won’t have cravings.

Eat a balanced dinner

This tip is for Thanksgiving Day and for every other day of the year. Your plate should ideally have a quality protein, healthy carbohydrates and topped with good fats. This combination of macro nutrients in optimal amount will help balance your blood sugar and keep your metabolic rate high. To balance your thanksgiving plate, fill half your plate with veggies like green beans, sweet potatoes, broccoli and squash, then fill 1/3 of the plate with protein like turkey breast and finally fill the rest with healthy grains like brown rice, bulgur, quinoa, or whole grain bread. Top off your plate with healthy sources of fat like olive oil and nuts. You can use this plating technique to visualize the amount of food you should have, but you don’t have to actually eat it that way!

Savor the food

Slowing down while eating is a great way to communicate our nutritional needs to our brain. Research shows that the body sends its satiation signal about 20 minutes after its full to the brain. This lag leads us to overeat often unconsciously. Savor your thanksgiving meal and enjoy the company of loved ones. Be present in the moment and enjoy every bite of your meal. Bon Appetit!

This thanksgiving keep moving, enjoy the outdoors, make it about friends and family, enjoy a balanced meal, and be mindful. Following these tips, you will be able to enjoy the holiday and won’t have extra pounds to shed after holiday season.

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About the Author

Aesha Tahir is a health and wellness coach and a certified personal trainer. She holds a Master’s degree in Applied Exercise Science and is certified by the NASM as a Personal trainer. She is a certified USA Track and Field Running Coach and Road Runners of America Coach. She is a 200-HR Registered Yoga Teacher. She is also a group exercise instructor specializing in barre, spinning, strength training, boot camp, and yoga classes. She has over five years of experience in the fitness and wellness arena with focused expertise in coaching, corrective exercise and injury prevention, individualized fitness programs, and group fitness programs. She is also an aspiring public speaker in the fitness and wellness world who believes in this quote; “To be inspired is great, but to inspire is incredible.”



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Aesha Tahir

Aesha Tahir

Coach, writer & runner. Exercise science, group fitness and positive psychology for every athlete. Book a Call with