Brand SpotlightYour Healthy Family


Your Healthy Family: Avoiding the pain of Thanksgiving overeating

Posted at 9:29 AM, Nov 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-23 09:29:06-05

While a big focus of the Thanksgiving holiday is the food, you don't need to skip a meal to make up for it.

“I know I've had many patients that have said, 'Well, I'm not going to eat anything until the meal, and then I'm just going to really enjoy it,'" Cleveland Clinic Registered Dietitian Kristin Kirkpatrick said.

But she said going into a Thanksgiving meal hungry isn't the way to go.

"It's kind of the same rules as if we go grocery shopping hungry, you're more likely to overeat. So really, starting the day off right is going to be tip number one, and that is have a good balanced breakfast," she said.

Kirkpatrick said to stay hydrated and make sure any snacks or meals you eat before Thanksgiving dinner are higher in protein, healthy fats and fiber. Then, she said to the meal with turkey for lean protein, and sides rich in color for fiber. Kirkpatrick said focusing on nutrient-dense foods will make you feel fuller. Another tip: take your time. This will help you recognize when you're actually full.

Kirkpatrick said taking a walk after dinner can give your body time to digest and process before seconds or dessert.

The most important thing, though, is to enjoy the holiday and not feel restricted.