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Health & Wellness

Tips to enjoy Thanksgiving without falling off the health track

Thanksgiving-dinner
Karolina Grabowska
/
Pexels
Thanksgiving dinner doesn't have to be a day you worry about ruining your diet or health plan.

WHITEHALL TWP., Pa. - One of the biggest eating days of the year is upon us.

For some, the holiday focused on food may cause some anxiety about derailing a strict diet or health regimen. However, nutritionists and personal trainers around the Lehigh Valley say one day will not derail long-term progress.

"I think the biggest thing to remember is this is one day, so it is scientifically impossible to impact your physique or your health from one day," Megan Saraceno, owner of Shift Fitness LLC, said.

"It's really what we do consistently over a long period of time that's going to matter,” she added.

  • Thanksgiving is one of the biggest eating days of the year
  • Nutritionists urge moderation, eating everything you desire, but suggesting eating smaller and uniform portions. Don't starve yourself beforehand and stay hydrated
  • One day will not derail long-term progress

Saraceno, a nutritionist and fitness trainer, is based in Whitehall Township but works with women around the country online.
She shared some tips for a healthier holiday.

She recommends "not starving yourself ahead of time because that's going to cause you then to eat even more at your Thanksgiving meal.”

Saraceno suggested trying to stick to one plate at dinner.

“If you try to keep it with one plate, you can be more mindful of how much you're eating and kind of slow down more and that'll stop you from overeating,” she said.

She added that staying hydrated is important, so it is good to have a water bottle on hand.

Angie Fenstermaker, owner of Angie's Way Nutrition in Emmaus, also suggested keeping a water bottle with you at all times.

“Water won't negate all the stuff we're going to eat, but it will help to kind of keep some of that sodium and that extra stuff that we're not used to taking in if we're on a healthy regimen. It will actually help to kind of flush some of that extra sodium and excess junk out in the body,” Fenstermaker said.

Fenstermaker’s business also has clients across the country.

When it comes to eating healthier on Thanksgiving, she said, “I recommend having a small portion of everything that you absolutely love that comes around once a year.”

Fenstermaker said going into the holiday with a mindful mindset will be helpful, but try not to obsess about how much you may or may not eat.

“Just paying attention and talking good to yourself going into the holiday or the gathering or the feast with a game plan in mind," she said.

She said no one should deprive himself or herself of the food they love, but keep portion size in mind: she suggests the size of a muffin tin for each dish.

"I think the biggest thing to remember is this is one day, so it is scientifically impossible to impact your physique or your health from one day. It's really what we do consistently over a long period of time that's going to matter.”
Megan Saraceno, owner of Shift Fitness LLC

Fenstermaker said having a game plan of what and how much you are going to eat will help people navigate their Thanksgiving table.

She also said remembering why the holiday is celebrated can help you step away from the food.

“Focus on the family, the friendships, the camaraderie, and focus on the actual meaning,” she suggested. “Focus on why you're there and don't sit right by the food table.”

Fenstermaker and Saraceno both said they remind the people with whom they work to be present at the moment on Thanksgiving.

“Just being mindful when you're eating, slowing down, enjoying the moment, enjoying the people that you're with, enjoying the food," Saraceno added. "It'll give you a little bit more time for your brain to catch up with your stomach.”