5 Tips for Having Your Thanksgiving—and Eating it Too

Yum. Our mouth is watering just thinking about the glorious spread that our families lay out for Thanksgiving dinner. More milk in the mashed potatoes! Pile on the gravy-I'm not driving! We tend to say to ourselves and others, "It's the holiday season! Splurge!" While that's all great, we forget that splurging means extra time and commitment at the gym in January.

For those of us who are nervous about messing up our weight-loss goals this season, these two upcoming holidays have us sweating a bit. Here are some tips that won't leave you starving at the dinner table with a plate full of steamed green beans and a glass of water. Also see: Want to drop five pounds?

Munch before you head out.
Eat an apple, a small salad with balsamic vinegar or a low-fat yogurt with granola-a small but nutritious snack should curb your hunger, at least through the hors d'oerves.

Choose a "better" alcohol.
Skip the punch with the foamy sorbet-a dessert within itself. Alcohol is already rich in sugar and carbohydrates. Skip sweet cocktails and go for champagne, or dry wine.

Try a substitution.
Enjoy the foods that you love (hello eggnog) by giving up the foods that you don't need. Stay away from particularly harmful and unsavory foods, like bread, pasta, coffee, beer and anything that comes from a can. Balance indulgences with a hearty helping of fruits and vegetables.

No marathon eating.
Since you aren't on Coney Island participating in the Hot Dog Eating contest, there's no need to wolf down your meal. When you've got a table full of delicious (but rich) foods, ward off overeating and aid digestion by taking smaller bites of food and chewing slowly. Enjoy the day and the company of your family and friends.

Drink up on tea.
Go from black coffee to green tea during the holidays. It helps you with pre-event fasting, decreases your insulin levels (which, in turn, promotes weight loss), and gives you a much-needed jolt of caffeine.

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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.