Tips to Stay Fit & Healthy This Thanksgiving

Tips to Stay Fit & Healthy This Thanksgiving

Everyone looks forward to Thanksgiving for the delicious food (and, of course, the leftovers!). But did you know that the average adult eats approximately 2000-3000 calories at the Thanksgiving meal? We’ve called in Nicole Meadow, MPN, RD, founder of her own private practice NutritionWise to help us make and reach better health & nutritional goals. Try the following strategies so you still can enjoy your meal more while making it more healthful (and less caloric):


1. Don’t come to the Thanksgiving table starving! Make sure to have a healthful breakfast and lunch before arriving at dinner. When you are extremely hungry, you eat very fast and tend to overeat.

2. Make time for exercise, especially on Thanksgiving Day. Try starting a family routine like going for a bike ride, hike, or long walk. Some cities even offer a Turkey Trot the morning of the holiday!

3. Fill your plate with salad and veggies first and then leave a small amount of space for higher calorie options like stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, etcetera. Don’t deprive yourself of your favorite dishes—think in terms of moderation!

4.Distance yourself from the hors d’oeuvre table. Munch on fresh fruits and vegetables (preferably organic) instead of high fat appetizers.

5. Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated, many of the foods served on Thanksgiving are high in sodium.

6. Go skinless…most most of the fat is in the turkey skin. Have your turkey breast, leg, or thigh without the skin to trim major calories and fat. (Have you ever thought of trying a vegetarian Thanksgiving? It's a radical concept for many, but it’s a fun way to think creatively in the kitchen about the holiday.)

7. Eat slowly…put your fork down every few bites and drink water. Your brain will have time to catch up with your stomach and you will find that you are satisfied with less food!

8. If you are the host, try making healthful alternatives such as steamed green beans with a drizzle of olive oil and almond slivers (instead of green bean casserole) and baked sweet potatoes (instead of baked yams with butter and marshmallows) to decrease calories and fat and increase nutrient density! The recipe below for curried butternut squash soup is a great starter—filling up on a low calorie, nutrient dense vegetable soup will help decrease your intake of the higher calorie fare that is served later in the meal.

9. Most importantly…enjoy the holiday and what it means to you! And in the spirit of giving thanks, consider visiting a local food bank to help those in need or inviting a friend to your holiday meal who might not have a place to go.

Curried Butternut Squash Soup


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2.5 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into cubes
  • 6 cups vegetable stock/broth
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • kosher salt, pepper



1. Heat oil over medium heat in a stockpot. Add onions and garlic and cook until soft but not browned.

2. Add butternut squash, stock, curry, and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until squash is tender.

3. Remove from heat and stir in honey. Purée with a hand immersion blender until smooth. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

This is a delicious addition to the Thanksgiving table. Try serving it in hallowed out mini pumpkins and garnished with roasted pumpkin seeds.


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