Can you eat healthy during Thanksgiving? Yes, you can — here’s how

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(WHNT) – It’s a dilemma every Thanksgiving: stuff your face or wishfully eye that Thanksgiving bird.

How about a third option – enjoy the Thanksgiving turkey and all the trimmings, and do it in a healthy manner.

Registered Dietitian Lauren Dauro said it all comes down to a few simple steps.

Before the Meal

If you’re the one cooking for the family, think about substituting low-fat sour cream or baking the bird, instead of deep-frying it.

If you’re going to somebody else’s feast, take something you can enjoy in bigger portions.

Before heading to the feast, don’t skip breakfast. Eat one that’s nutritionally balanced and has lots of fiber.

During the Meal

Dauro said being restrictive and cutting yourself off from eating certain foods could make you feel deprived and result in you overeating later – instead, she suggested being intentional and mindful as you enjoy the Thanksgiving feast.

It’s only one day, she added – not an entire week.

Pile up one plate of food you love and don’t go back for seconds.

When you’re eating, be sure to savor every bite and take it slow – Dauro said it takes the stomach 20 minutes to tell the brain you’re actually full.

Ease up on liquid calories, such as soda, juice, and alcohol.

Stay hydrated with water throughout the meal, and stay active throughout the day – keep the blood flowing.

Eat until you’re 80% full; you’ll know because you’ll feel full, but not stuffed and not ready to sleep off the inevitable food coma.

After the Meal

Dauro’s suggestion – freeze the leftovers and send them home with family so you don’t tempt yourself in the coming days.

Most importantly, remember: Thanksgiving is about being together after a long time apart, more so because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

And these tips aren’t just for Thanksgiving, either!

Dauro suggested not waiting until the new year to set fitness goals and to seek out a registered dietitian to help meet those goals.

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