If you are trying to watch your weight, holidays like Thanksgiving can be a perfect storm. Friends, family, and neighbors continually invite you to social cookouts and festive dinners where nobody watches their intake of macronutrients or counts calories. The key to enjoying the season and its many social engagements is to prepare well, especially when it comes to avoiding empty calories.

In this article, MediPlan Diet Services’ weight loss experts offer a few scientifically-based tips on keeping your diet in check during the seasonal festivities.

#1 Eat Healthy Where You Can

According to the University of Illinois, Americans eat over 46 million turkeys over Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. Turkeys are the fourth most prolific protein source in the nation, purely thanks to these holiday celebrations, but turkeys are not the main obstacle for diet plans on the Thanksgiving table. Rather, it is the casseroles, turkey stuffing, and pies that are sugar-laden and full of empty calories.

A recent survey from the International Food Information Council revealed that only 52% of American adults actively look for healthy foods when shopping at the grocery store. If you’re serving food this Thanksgiving, why not take advantage of the thousands of healthy options at your fingertips? You can find versions of many Thanksgiving staples with less saturated fats, refined sugars, and sodium with one quick internet search.

For example, instead of buying canned fruit sauces from the store, make your own. Most store-bought versions are coagulated sugar, but a fresh homemade cranberry puree is far superior in taste, texture, and nutrition content. You can also skip the whipped cream and ice cream toppings from pies for a healthier dessert.

#2 Time to Burn More Calories

Instead of policing your portions at family dinners and reunions, you could try to relax and enjoy the meal by burning more calories before or afterward with vigorous athletic or aerobic activities. Weight loss is about 80% dependent on what you put into your body, but 20% comes from how much you sweat it out on the track, field, or neighborhood gym equipment. Thanksgiving can weaken the resolve of even the most disciplined dieters out there, and increasing the exercise you do over this holiday period provides a great balance.

MediPlan Diet Services’ professionals find that people who have a more adaptive view of their dieting habits experience more success in their weight loss journeys. Eating is a heavily social activity, so you might have to accept that your meal plan will hit a few bumps. So, if you are more likely to eat unhealthy food that you didn’t cook, adapt.

WebMD research puts most Americans gaining around 1.36 pounds on average during the holiday season. You can effortlessly burn that off by doing HIIT exercises, jogging, swimming, or a daily stationary bike session.

#3 Savor Your Food

We all need festive time with loved ones and friends, and Thanksgiving is a time to enjoy those sentimental foods at a special time of year. Controlling your portions makes it easier; put your fork down between mouthfuls and savor the food while you connect with the people around your table.

It also helps to pick dark green leafy vegetables, fiber, whole grains, and water to avoid empty calories. Sugar and calories from alcohol have a profound effect on your weight, so sip slowly.

Are you watching your weight this Thanksgiving? Call the weight loss experts from MediPlan Diet Services at 901-362-7546 today.