5 Ways to Avoid Blowing Your Diet This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving turkeySure, the best thing about Thanksgiving may be getting together with family and friends, basking in the glow of good conversation and warm feelings, but the second best thing about Thanksgiving? That would have to be the food.

No doubt about it, diets can be hard to stick to on Thanksgiving, and it's probably not the worst thing, at least to some degree, to give yourself the day off from adhering to all of your diet rules. But at the same time, going too far off course can mess you up fast. And do you really want to spend the rest of the holiday season trying to take off all those pounds you put on in what felt like an instant? After all, you've got all sorts of parties and events coming up. You don't want to spend all your holiday bonus calories in one place.

Here are five ways to make sure you don't blow your diet too badly and waddle away from your Thanksgiving table feeling like a turkey:


Limit your drinking: You already know alcoholic beverages can be caloric -- a 5-ounce glass of wine will set you back around 150 calories; a 1.5-ounce shot of vodka is around 100 calories, as does a 12-ounce glass of light beer -- and some diet experts think consuming alcohol also keeps you from burning fat efficiently. So don't go crazy with the festive holiday cocktails. A glass of wine or two with dinner is fine, but otherwise, think seltzer with a twist.

Don't overdue it on the appetizers: Avoid anything fried or heavy on the cream or cheese, which are often overloaded with calories (and, let's face it, are so crazy-delicious that, once you start, it's hard to stop). Gravitate toward the fresh veggie plate instead. (I know, but at least they're crunchy!)

Careful with those side dishes: Just because your host loads the Thanksgiving table with stuffing, gravy, marshmallow-topped mashed sweet potato, green-bean casserole, and cornbread doesn't mean you have to pile your plate with them. By all means, try everything. But remember: Portion control is key!

Go easy on dessert: The same method -- try, but in moderation -- works well at dessert time, too. Thanksgiving is made for pies, and pies are made to be sampled. But go for slender slices and eat slowly. Oh, and you might want to hold off on the whipped cream; I don't have to tell you that's no diet food.

Keep it all in perspective: Remember: Thanksgiving is not about all you eat, but rather all you're grateful for. Keeping in mind that you're here to enjoy the company -- not only the food -- may help you keep your eating in check!

How do you keep from putting on too much weight on Thanksgiving?


Image via Edsel L/Flickr

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