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4 Tricks to Help Avoid Gaining Weight this Thanksgiving

  • Category: Wellness Services
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: St. John's Medical Center

Thanksgiving. It’s a time for family and friends to gather and give thanks. And for most, it’s a day of overindulgence. “You can enjoy all your favorite foods, but moderation is key,” says Anna Ibele, M.D., a bariatric surgeon at University of Utah Health. Here, she shares some tricks that will help you enjoy the day without gaining weight.

    #1 - Eat (don’t drink) your calories

    At 200 to 350 calories per drink, eggnog, hot chocolate and alcohol quickly add up. "A refreshing low-calorie alternative perfect for the season is seltzer with a splash of fresh cranberry juice," Ibele suggests.

    #2 - Eat before the feast

    It might be tempting to starve yourself before Thanksgiving dinner, but that approach usually backfires. "Eating a healthy breakfast helps speeds your metabolism. A lunch high in protein and fiber keeps you full, so you’ll eat fewer calories snacking and during dinner," Ibele says.

    #3 - Chew slowly

    Enjoy the dinner conversation, and chew your food slowly. It not only helps your body digest food, but you’ll eat less food.

    #4 - Start a new (active) tradition

    Participate in a Turkey Trot walk or run on Thanksgiving morning, organize a Turkey Bowl (an informal football game), or bundle up and go on a nice, long walk after dinner. Start a tradition that burns calories and keeps you from succumbing to the post-turkey slump.

    This article was originally posted by and used with permission by the Office of Public Affairs at University of Utah Health.