7 Essential Thanksgiving Day Tips

by Kristin Hedstrom

Thanksgiving. It’s the kickoff to the holidays, a time filled with parties, wine, pies, and buffet lines. By the time it rolls around each year, you’ve got family coming to town, pies to make, and recipes to cook.


The holidays might be the most wonderful time of the year, but they’re also the most tempting time of year. With holiday parties just around the corner, it’s easy to slide into what I call “holiday mode.” It’s when the all-or-nothing mentality takes over our decisions and rules our world for the last month and a half of the yar.


Holiday mode is what happens when you already know Thanksgiving is going to be a “bad” meal, so you tell yourself that the whole day is basically a wash. And since there will be leftovers, then we can’t count Thursday – Sunday. And if family is coming into town a few days before Thanksgiving, it’s gonna be too hard to be healthy for the entire week.


Besides, Christmas season comes right after Thanksgiving with all the cookies, candy, and wine around, maybe it’s better to just start fresh on January 1.


Sound familiar? This all-or-nothing mentality makes you feel like if you can’t be perfect, you might as well not try because it won’t do anything. But that’s NOT true!


It’s time to stop the bargaining and taking charge of how you approach the holidays. With just a little bit of planning, you can break yourself of this holiday mode from the get-go, own your decisions during the holiday season, and feel like a badass as you head into the new year.


Here are 7 tips to have a healthier Thanksgiving – while still having that homemade pumpkin pie.



Work out in the morning, before the day gets started. Because if there were ever a day when it’d be a great idea to work out, Thanksgiving would be it. A Turkey Trot with the fam is always a good idea, or else just get out the door for a jog/fast walk. Shoot for at least 30 minutes of moving time.



If you know you’ll eat some unhealthy things on Thanksgiving Day, shoot to make a giant salad for dinner on Wednesday and stick to only drinking water for the first half of the week. Give your body all the nutrients it needs to ward off the inflammation and nutrient deficit it goes through on T-Day.



Aim for at least half your body weight in ounces on Thanksgiving. Remember, water helps flush out toxins, boosts your immune system, reduces bloating, and helps you feel fresher.



Think through the meal ahead of time. How many servings will you have? Do you want to eat until you’re pleasantly full or fully stuffed? What’s an appropriate volume of food? Don’t succumb to the peer pressure of family members offering you food you don’t want/need. Just politely decline it.



Instead of mindlessly eating amidst the distraction of people, make sure you’re thinking about what you’re eating, how full you are, and how much water you’ve had to drink. Logging your food is a great strategy to stay aware.



…and go easy on the meat, sauces, rolls, and dessert.



Remember that Thanksgiving is really all about spending time together, not eating until you feel ill. Enjoy the people you’re surrounded by.