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6 PCP-Approved Tips on Eating Healthy This Thanksgiving

The last few months of the year bring holiday after holiday and we all know what that means: food. More often than not, we’re presented with celebratory dishes that are heavy in carbs, calories, and sugar, making it hard to turn down a bite...or seven. We all deserve to enjoy special foods during the holiday season, it can easily lead to overeating or weight gain, all of which are unhealthy habits. By following these PCP-approved tips, you can enjoy holiday treats without feeling guilty or gluttonous afterward. It really is the best of both worlds!

1. Offer to Cook 
Every PCP will stress the importance of eating healthy, but it can be hard to do so when you’re at a family gathering where you didn’t plan the menu. While you shouldn’t have to be in charge of the entire feast, offer to bring a dish or two that you know is guilt-free. If you’re in charge of cooking a dish, you’ll know exactly what’s in it. You can even swap out ingredients for healthier substitutes, without sacrificing your favorite dishes altogether. Try finding a recipe for green bean casserole with fresh beans, or lighten up the yams by using more cinnamon and less sugar.

2. Plan Your Plate
In many PCP offices, you’ll see a food pyramid chart tacked onto the wall, telling you how to divide your plate with what foods. It serves as a visual to remember when you’re making your own plate at home. This same concept can be useful to apply during the holidays, when you’re filling up your plate with cozy home cooking. The biggest servings on your plate should be vegetables, salad, and lean meats, while leaving a little room for things like macaroni, potatoes, or a roll. By visually planning your plate before you put food on it, you be more conscious of what you end up eating.

3. Stay Active 
A great way to stay active on Thanksgiving is to go on a leisurely stroll with your family, pets, or just by yourself. If you spend all day close to the kitchen, the temptation to snack will be at an all time high. By removing yourself from where the food is, it’s not constantly in view, on your mind, or within reach. Walking will help you shed some calories and feel less bloated after you eat a heavy meal. 

4. Don’t Eat All at Once
Another PCP-approved tip for Thanksgiving eating is to have smaller meals throughout the day, instead of one huge feast all at once. By eating less in more frequent increments, you tell yourself that you don’t have to get every bite in at one sitting. It’s okay not to eat all the pie and all the turkey, but instead you can enjoy just a little bit here and there. It’s a good mental trick that can help you be aware of how much you’re eating and to only eat if you’re really hungry.

5. Get Back on Track
If you find yourself falling off the wagon this Thanksgiving, don’t use it as an excuse never to get back on. A few days of overeating isn’t the end of all that’s good. Maybe you’re trying to shed some pounds, maintain your weight, or just eat what’s good for your body and you feel like you didn’t meet your goals because of the holiday. Don’t worry, just get yourself back on track and move forward. 

6. Sick? Visit Your PCP
Just because the holidays are near, doesn’t mean you won’t get sick. Unfortunately, viruses can spread at anytime, even when you’re supposed to be having fun. If you do find yourself feeling ill this holiday season, take some time for yourself and visit your PCP. If you put it off, you’ll prolong the days spent in bed. If you visit your PCP right away, it’s likely that you’ll be ready to join in on the festivities in no time. PrimeCare in Searcy makes it easy to see a doctor at the spur of the moment, which is usually how we find ourselves sick. Stop by anytime, no appointment needed.