544_4467116As a person who lives with NCGS (non-celiac gluten sensitivity), I avoid all food containing gluten on a daily basis. Whether you have NCGS, food sensitivities, food allergies or if you a simply focused on a healthy lifestyle, planning ahead for holiday eating can make all the difference. Create a game plan to ensure you are prepared for the way that you choose to eat. There are simple things you can do on Thanksgiving Day to help prevent the dreaded guilt that can come with overindulging and the desire to do nothing more than sit around in sweatpants on the couch for days.

Here are some great, simple ways to prepare for turkey day and leave the overstuffing for the bird!

Keep moving! There are many Charlotte Turkey Trots and races. Invite your friends and family to join you.




Schedule work out time first thing in the morning so you are certain to exercise before the busy day begins. You may not be able to do the full workout you normally would, but 20 minutes is better and healthier than no activity at all.

static1.squarespace.comDon’t skip breakfast on Thanksgiving. Skipping breakfast to “save “ calories for later is not a healthy choice. You are doing more harm than good by not eating breakfast. Your blood sugar is already at a low point from not eating overnight and skipping breakfast will cause moodiness, fatigue, and sugar cravings. Eat a small balanced meal of protein, fiber, good fats or a protein drink.

Offer to bring an appetizer or dessert! Not only can you give the host a hand by cooking something, but also this will allow you to bring something healthy to snack on.

Try to schedule eating Thanksgiving as early in the afternoon as possible.

Be strategic when you fill your plate.

  • Fill half of your plate with veggies and salad
  • Be careful of the sauces and gravies
  • 4-6 ounces of lean white meat turkey
  • Add small portions of the once a year holiday favorites.

Eat slowly. Put your fork down between each bite. Focus on the celebration, conversation, and the loved ones around you.

Use the 3-bite rule for desserts- if you absolutely have to have the pie or cake, take 3 small bites and be done.

extended-family-thanksgiving-dinnerLimit alcohol. Alcohol decreases your metabolism, making it that much harder for your body to turn your meal into energy which creates more to be stored as fat.

  • Drink 1-2 glasses of water between each glass of wine or cocktail
  • Always volunteer to be the designated driver to avoid overindulging
  • Avoid sugary mixers such as sour mix, fruit juices, sodas
  • Best choices are red and white wine or champagne

After the dishes are cleaned take a brisk walk outside if you can or start a game of flag football in the yard to burn some calories. Be clear but realistic with your expectations for yourself this Thanksgiving. The holidays are not the time of year to try and lose weight. Focus on maintaining your goals and you will be that much ahead of the game when the New Year starts.