1. Eat something earlier in the day so you don’t go into dinner starving.
Many people skip either breakfast or lunch in anticipation for the big meal on Thanksgiving. Not eating can halt your metabolism and lead to overeating when it’s time for turkey.
2. Find and participate in a “Turkey Trot”.
Turkey Trots are casual short or long distance runs or races held around Thanksgiving to promote fitness and burn off calories before the big meal. Many towns and cities hold them annually, so do a quick search and find one near you.
3. Make fitness a family affair.
After dinner, go for a family outing and walk around at a local park, downtown area, or even a hike! (see our Finding Great Fall Hikes post)
4. Throw around the pig skin.
Don’t just watch the football game, play one! Throwing around the football before or after dinner is another fun family activity to get everyone moving and help burn off some of those extra calories.
5. Be a picky eater.
Just because it’s Thanksgiving doesn’t mean all hope is lost for healthy eating. When making your plate, be conscious of what you’re putting on it; have extra turkey instead of ham and vegetables instead mashed potatoes. Eating a balance of different foods can also aid in digestion— read more on optimal digestion on Enjoy This Organic Life
6. Don’t just sit there.
After dinner, don’t become a couch potato for the rest of the day. Walk around and stay standing while talking to family and friends. A recent study shows that standing during weekdays can burn as many calories as running 10 marathons a year!
7. Go on a shopping spree.
Shopping after Thanksgiving on Black Friday involves lots of standing, walking, and sometimes running, which helps you work off that second helping. (great tip via Best Life) You can optimize your shopping workout even more with tips from Fitness Magazine.
8. Preemptive Workout.
Get a serious workout in on Thanksgiving morning or the day before. It’s nice to think you’ll work off the calories later, but after you’ve eaten a metric ton of turkey, you may become less than motivated.
9. Think twice about a second helping.
Resist the urge to immediately fill your plate back up after your first serving, no matter how delicious your aunt’s mashed potatoes are. Wait 20 minutes after your first plate to let your brain catch up with your stomach.
10. Consider the alternatives.
Want to change things up? Check out Outside Magazine’s guide to a Great Alternative Thanksgiving.
For more tips on how to stay fit this Thanksgiving, check out some of our favorite lists and articles:
Follow the #healthythanksgiving hashtag on Twitter for more healthy Thanksgiving tips and recipes!