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Tips for making healthy choices this Thanksgiving

Don't let fears about unhealthy foods ruin the upcoming Thanksgiving and year-end holiday season. You can still enjoy those wonderful Thanksgiving treats while incorporating healthy choices into your holiday meal plans. Adopting a healthy lifestyle that includes nutritious foods, appropriate portions and a little exercise will also help you maintain energy levels, improve mood, and augment your ability to handle the busy holiday season.

Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Eat at your normal meal times before your Thanksgiving feast, to ensure that you are not hungrier than usual.

  2. Offer to bring a healthy dish to share to guarantee that you will have something nutritious to eat.

  3. Make half your plate fruit and non-starchy vegetables.

  4. When indulging in less nutritious treats (like high calorie, high sugar or fatty foods), choose to take just a small portion, and take time to savor the taste and smell.

  5. Balance what you choose to eat. Think about what nutrients your body still needs after considering what you have already eaten that day. Do you need more vegetables, fruit, protein, carbs, fat or water?

  6. Chew your food well and eat slowly. Pause every so often, put down your fork, take a few deep breaths, and pay attention to what your body is telling you. Stop eating when you are full. Remember that you don't have to eat until uncomfortably full; you can enjoy leftovers the next day!

  7. Choose lower calorie or no-calorie drinks when possible.

  8. Don't forget about the health benefits of modest exercise! After the Thanksgiving feast, go out for a group walk—or do something active indoors if the weather is not nice enough for a stroll.

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