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5 Healthy Thanksgiving Tips

Set the table for a healthy thanksgiving

Mashed potatoes, stuffing, and pumpkin pie, oh my! Thanksgiving is synonymous for excess carbs, but don’t let the threat of overindulging scare you from enjoying yourself and your time with friends and family. If you are trying to lose weight or live low carb with Atkins during the holidays, follow these five Thanksgiving diet tips for a healthy and happy holiday weekend.

1. Eat Breakfast

You know that breakfast is an important part of the day, and Thanksgiving is no exception. Although it may seem counterintuitive to eat even more food on a day typically dedicated to overeating, making sure you have a balanced breakfast not only will rev up your metabolism, it can keep you satisfied until the main event, helping you to avoid snacking and that starving feeling come mealtime.  

Try this, not that

Instead of skipping breakfast to “save” carbs for later, try this quick and easy Cheddar Omelet with Sautéed Onions (6.1g net carbs) or this seasonally-appropriate and protein-filled Pumpkin Pie Shake (5.7g net carbs).

2. Plan On Indulging.... A Little

You don’t need to entirely skip your traditional family recipes while maintaining your Atkins diet. Whether it’s your grandma’s mashed potatoes or your mom’s mac n’ cheese, allow yourself to enjoy a few bites of your favorites on Thanksgiving day. And depending on which Atkins phase you are in, you may find that many of your Thanksgiving staples (like Turkey!) are on the Atkins approved food list. Lastly, get right back on track the next day. You don’t need to indulge all weekend long!

Try this, not that

If you are going to treat yourself during dinner, try bringing your own Atkins-approved Thanksgiving dessert. Swap pies and cookies for these sweet and satisfying Pumpkin-Spice Brownies, which have 2.6g net carbs and 3.6g protein per serving.

3. Set Realistic Diet Goals

Creating realistic goals during the holiday season can help you stay on track to continue to lose or maintain the weight you have already lost with Atkins, and avoid a feeling of failure if you don’t continue losing weight at your current pace. Stay on track by continuing to write in your food journal and substituting some traditional carb-filled holiday recipes with healthier options.

Try this, not that

Swap out some side dishes. Instead of canned or sugar-filled cranberry recipes, add the fresh or frozen variety to your plate. And with 4.3g net carbs per serving, this Browned Pumpkin with Maple and Sage recipe is a great substitute for sweet potato pie.

4. Reduce Stressors

Serenity now! The holidays can be stressful, but letting go of the small stuff will help you give thanks, enjoy your time with friends and family, and avoid emotional eating. Keeping up with your food journal will help you stay tuned in to why and when you are eating. Having a few Atkins-friendly bars, treats, and snacks on hand to fight cravings can also help.

Try this, not that

After everyone has left, unwind with this Pumpkin Turkey Stew instead of indulging on carb-filled leftovers all weekend long. Soup is a great comfort food to help you relax, and this recipe is a great way to turn leftover turkey and pumpkin into an Atkins-approved meal with 6.7g net carbs and 28.2g protein per serving.

5. Work It Out!

Exercise is an important way to stay healthy during Thanksgiving, so make a point of adding some extra activity into your long weekend. Take a walk with the family, join the kids on a bike ride, park farther away from the grocery store or mall, or take the stairs instead of an elevator. Not only will you work off any additional treats you may have enjoyed, but exercise can be a great stress reliever as well.

Try this, not that

Instead of giving yourself the long weekend off from your diet and exercise, keep your health goals on track by signing up with friends and family for a local 5K walk or Turkey Trot!

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Those who are following a low carb diet shouldn’t feel like they’re missing out on anything over the holidays! Check out more of our favorite fall recipes to help you enjoy the foods you love while still keeping up with your low carb diet and weight loss journey.

Happy Thanksgiving!