10 Diet Hacks to Help You Slay Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to use diet hacks to combat weight gain. Temptation comes in many forms, from sugar-laden sweets and buttery sides to simple carbs from bread, pies and baked goods. Carb overload is a certain threat! The good news is, we know some powerful strategies to help you stay lean through Thanksgiving and beyond.

Try a few of the tried-and-tested tips below to stay on track without sacrificing fun.

1. Moderation is Everything

Aim to eat healthy most of the time, but allow yourself an occasional “sin.” Determine the number of indulgences you can have in advance and commit to it. Just don’t overdo it—limit cheats to moderate amounts, such as one slice of pumpkin pie or two small cookies. If you practice moderation you’ll enjoy your sins without repercussions.

2. Set Goals

It may sound counterintuitive but the holidays are a good time to set goals. Make specific and attainable goals and write them down. Plan your intake each day with some wiggle room for treats so you don’t feel deprived. Add more fruit and veggies to offset indulgences and stave off guilt. Set an exercise schedule for the holiday week and stick to it. When you plan ahead, it’s easier to make time to hit the gym or go for a run.

3. Work it Out

Be consistent with your normal workout routine. Try a morning workout on Thanksgiving morning to jump start your metabolism and start burning calories. If you can, take a walk after Thanksgiving dinner to promote healthy digestion and burn a few extra calories.

4. Stick to Your Regular Routine

Whenever possible, stick to your normal routine. Set a bedtime for the weekdays so you can get regular sleep as much as possible. Wake up when you usually do so you don’t oversleep and feel sluggish. Eat meals at your standard mealtime.

5. Limit the Libations

Alcohol adds nothing but empty calories to your meal, so avoid it as much as possible. If you do imbibe, practice moderation—don’t get drunk. Alcohol lowers inhibitions and negatively impacts blood sugar, which can result in eating bad food late night. Drink wisely—stick to lightweight white wine spritzers or vodka sodas and steer clear of sugar-laden mixers. Drink a glass of water between each alcohol drink to help re-hydrate.

6. Don’t Save Up Calories

Don’t skip meals to “save up” calories for the big meal. You’ll most likely overeat or even binge when you do finally eat. Skipping meals also slows down your metabolism and cause your body to store fat. Eat lean protein at breakfast and lunch to satiate your appetite and promote healthy digestion.

7. Don’t Arrive at Dinner Hungry

Go a step further and have a small protein- or fiber-rich snack before you head to dinner. This curbs hunger pangs and makes it easier to keep yourself in check when you do sit down for dinner.

8. Make Time to Relax and Unwind

Stress is often mistaken for hunger and can lead to emotional eating. For some, it triggers cravings for simple carbs and sugar. Set aside time every day to practice your favorite stress reduction technique so you can avoid these side effects. Try meditation, reading, deep breathing, yoga or even schedule a massage if you have time.

9. Eat Slowly

Eat slowly so that your brain has time to catch up with your stomach. It takes approximately 20 minutes for our brain to receive the signal that you’re full. Chew slowly and savor each bite—you’ll be more satisfied overall and less likely to go for seconds.

10. Hydrate

Drinking water is one of our favorite diet hacks! Our bodies often confuse thirst for hunger, which causes overeating. Avoid this by drinking lots of water before and during your Thanksgiving meal to help you stay hydrated and feeling full.

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