15 Tips For A Healthier Thanksgiving

Use these 15 tips to prevent your Thanksgiving from getting the best of your waistline and having you struggling to recover for days to come.
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Use these 15 tips to prevent your Thanksgiving from getting the best of your waistline and having you struggling to recover for days to come.

1. Eat before you arrive to the Thanksgiving party -- Consuming a small meal or snack consisting of lean proteins and fiber before you arrive will help prevent overindulgence and bad choices inspired by hunger.

2. Bring one or two healthy dishes if you're visiting friends or family -- Showing up to a Thanksgiving gathering with one or two of your own dishes is not only thoughtful but will insure you have healthy eating options.

3. Host the Thanksgiving meal -- Hosting a Thanksgiving gathering without a doubt a lot of work but it may be worth the hassle just to insure you have control of the types of food that are available.

4. Avoid finger foods or appetizers -- Most finger foods and appetizers are high in sodium and saturated fat. Those small little bites pack a big caloric punch in no time. Your safest option is usually to stick with the vegetable platter if one is available.

5. Drink plenty of water -- Water helps control appetite.

6. Eat slowly -- Scientific studies have shown that takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to produce hormones telling your brain that you are full. Eating slowly and chewing properly improves your digestion and helps avoid indigestion.

7. No seconds -- Limiting yourself to one helping is a great way to limit calorie consumption, avoid the hangover effect of overeating while still enjoying all the holiday foods you were looking forward to.

8. Survey your options -- Scanning over the table or buffet line prior to digging in is a great way to portion out what fits on your plate before hand. If your committing to a single serving you don't want to be tempted to go back by a new discovery or a preferred to eating option.

9. Don't let the party carry over to the next day -- Though you don't want to make a habit out of eating foods high in sugar, saturated fat and sodium, a reward for all of your discipline every once in a while is in order especially during during holidays. Just make sure the feast doesn't carry over to the following day. Enjoy your treat and move on to your usual healthy eating habits. A little fun won't be a major set back and your metabolism will come back supercharged.

10. Pass on the sugars and starches (if possible) -- Starchy and sugary foods trigger the release of insulin, a powerful hormone that signals your body to store fat. The more sugar and starchy carbohydrates you consume, the greater the rise in blood glucose and the more your body stores fat.

11. Eat proteins and vegetables -- Making sure most of your calories are coming from proteins and vegetables will help you maintain healthy blood sugar levels and leave you feeling fuller faster and longer with less damage to your waistline.

12. No additional salt -- Adding additional salt to Thanksgiving foods which are most likely already high in sodium will leave you feeling bloated and sluggish.

13. Pack a digestive aid -- After dinner have a cup of warm Ginger, Peppermint or Slippery Elm tea to aid in digestion. You can also stop at you local health food store to pick up a digestive supplement to take prior to the feast.

14. Stop before your full -- Overeating can have you experiencing symptoms like headache, bloating, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, shortness of breath, insomnia, indigestion, fatigue and guilt for days following the feast.

15. Alcohol in moderation -- While alcohol doesn't contain fat it does contain 7 grams of empty calories per gram. A couple of holiday beers can easily add up to 300 + calories. When you combine that number plus your food intake the numbers can be staggering. Not only does it quickly pack on empty calories, it can increase your appetite while reducing your level of control to make healthier choices. If you choose to consume alcohol this holiday season avoid sugary drinks and limit your intake along with making sure you have a designated driver.

Keep up with Atlanta based Celebrity Personal Trainer David Buer on Twitter and Facebook for all the latest fitness news and tips.