Five practical tips for a healthier Thanksgiving

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The Tidelands Health Newsroom

Published on November 21, 2017

5 practical tips for a healthier Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to spend time with loved ones but with so much food around, it can be easy to stray from healthy eating habits. Here are five practical strategies to help manage your caloric intake (and even incorporate some physical activity) this Thanksgiving. 

Commit to a walk before the meal

You might be surprised how many of your friends and family will be interested Family walking with leaves aroundin a post-meal walk. Take a minute at the beginning of your get-together and let folks know you plan to walk after the meal. By making the commitment before you sit down to eat, you're more likely to follow through afterward. 

Watch the alcohol

Alcoholic drinks not only pack a caloric whop, they also tend to cloud our judgement about how much, and what, to eat. Avoid alcoholic beverages or keep your consumption to a minimum, and make sure to drink enough water and other non-alcoholic drinks so you stay properly hydrated.

Don’t skimp early in the day

Often, people skimp on meals early in the day on Thanksgiving to save room for the big meal, but that’s a recipe for overindulgence. Make sure to eat sensibly all day, much like you normally would, so that you aren’t too hungry when you and your loved ones gather to eat.

Have a planTurkey

Start your meal off right by filling your plate with nutritious food. Focus on the turkey, vegetables and other healthy sides, leaving a smaller portion of the plate for the stuffing and other high-caloric goodies (yes, that means you, marshmallow-covered sweet potato casserole).

Wise leftover management

Freeze mini-meals of your leftovers (perhaps some turkey, green beans and another side) in individual Tupperware containers. That’ll provide a supply of quick-fix meals and allow you to spread out the caloric intake from your leftovers.

Also, split up your pie and other desserts and send some home with guests. They’ll thank you for it, and your waistline will, too. 


Tidelands Health is the region’s largest health care provider, serving the Carolinas at four hospitals and more than 60 outpatient locations. More than 2,500 employee, physician and volunteer partners are working side by side with our communities to transform the health of our region – promoting wellness, preventing illness, encouraging recovery and restoring health.