It’s that time of the year again, Thanksgiving time! This is the time when families, friends and loved ones come together to see extended relatives, consume delicious foods and of course now run the popular morning Turkey Trots. With Thanksgiving having earned the reputation for being a gluttonous holiday associated with the unbuttoning of pants, stomachaches, and feelings of guilt due to an excess amount of consumed calories, many individuals are taking part in the growing 5K Turkey Trot phenomenon.

Turkey Trots have been around for quite some time, however, recently due to an increase in individuals fit & healthy lifestyle changes, these runs have become even more popular. Most runs occur first thing in the morning ranging from 8AM-10AM and range from a 5K-10K, allowing individuals plenty of time to get back and spend the remainder of their holiday with family and friends. Runs like these are of course are very family friendly, fun and energetic with many individuals not runners and just out enjoying a fun activity prior to the big meal. Of course running is a great way to make Thanksgiving meals feel a little less guilty, but there are other tips below that can help make your Thanksgiving a little more healthier and not hazardous.

#1 Change Your Mindset
Thanksgiving might only come once a year, but we still have access to the foods year round. We understand that most families don’t prepare such large meals on a regular basis, but what’s the point in consuming all these items in one sitting? It’s important to remember that you don’t have to go into the lunch/dinner with the mindset of all or nothing. You have access to all of these foods year round so you shouldn’t think it’s your last “good meal.”

#2 Have a Plan
You always hear it, have a plan. Planning out what you will eat at your Thanksgiving meal is key to helping you identify what you can eat, can’t eat and what items you will splurge to help with your self-control. Do your best to create a mental list of items you plan on eating along what a desert you plan on splurging on to help keep your portions in check. If you create and follow your plan you will be good to go!

#3 Don’t Starve Yourself
This is one of the biggest mistakes many people make during the holiday session. It’s never a good idea to starve yourself all day waiting for the big meal. By doing this, you are only making yourself more hungry for the big meal and by then your plan and healthy efforts will be thrown out of the window. Instead stick to smaller, balanced meals throughout the day so by the time the big meal comes you can continue to follow your plan and not just scarfing down food.

#4 Smaller Plates
Another great way to stick to your plan is by using smaller plates. Most individuals tend to want to fill their plates with food and then clean them by eating everything. The bigger the plate the more calories are consumed. To help cut down on all of these problems, individuals should use smaller plates to help with portion control. In most settings family and friends won’t event notice the plate difference.

#5 Enjoy Yourself
By now you are probably wondering, how am I suppose to enjoy Thanksgiving?! The answer, you can still enjoy that homemade pumpkin pie with fresh whipped cream or those mashed potatoes but in moderation and self-control. You can enjoy all of those delicious dishes by simply cutting down on the portions, not eating the whole pie and sticking to your plan. You see, eat healthy and being fit isn’t about cutting foods out, but instead by learning portion controls, planning and self-control.

I wish all of you a Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving! Remember to enjoy that homemade pie today and then hit your  workout routine once again tomorrow!