Five Tips for a Healthy and Happy Thanksgiving: How to lose weight on Atkins, even during the holidays

This holiday is synonymous with mountains of mashed potatoes, rich gravy, hearty stuffing, roasted turkey and pies of every variety not to mention the tryptophan-induced food coma that follows this flavorful feast. Here are some helpful tips for making it through Thanksgiving, and the rest of the holiday season, without piling on the pounds:

Set realistic goals. Even during the holidays, you can continue to lose weight or at least maintain the weight you have already lost on Atkins. Don’t set yourself up for failure and expect to be able to lose weight at the same rate that you have been, but create some realistic goals that will help you stay on track. This can be as simple as substituting some traditional carb-filled holiday recipes with Atkins-friendly favorites, replacing a typically food-centered tradition with a fun activity or resolving to continue writing in your food journal every day.

Stress less. Let go of the small stuff. If you are hosting Thanksgiving, your table settings or décor do not need to be worthy of Martha Stewart’s praise. This is the time to give thanks, and enjoy the company of family and friends.

Say no to emotional eating. Holidays can bring out the best—and worst—in all of us. Keep up with your food journal, so that you can monitor when you are craving—or eating—foods purely out of stress or frustration. Remember to stay tuned in to why and when you are eating, and make sure to keep Atkins-friendly snacks, including Atkins shakes and bars, on hand.

Have a plan to indulge. Whether it’s the mashed potatoes or bread stuffing or pies and cookies, there is probably some traditional family dish that has always been a part of your Thanksgiving. Decide how you will handle this situation, whether you choose to bring an Atkins-friendly alternative or allow yourself to indulge in a few bites of the traditional favorite.

Work it off. Make up for the extra calories you might end up consuming during this week by adding some extra activity into your days. Take a walk with the family, join the kids on a bike ride or just park farther away from the grocery store or mall and take the stairs instead of an elevator. Exercise is a great stress reliever as well!