Overindulged during Thanksgiving? Don’t worry.


Imagine this scenario- You visited your registered dietitian nutritionist recently, and set goals to eat healthy during the holidays. You attended an event for Thanksgiving this past week, with the intention of sticking to controlling portion sizes and selecting healthier foods. When you arrive at the party, despite all of your efforts, you overindulge in the delicious Thanksgiving spread. Now the guilty feelings are setting in, and you don’t know what to do from here. Let’s discuss options for the upcoming week.

Do not overthink

Thanksgiving is a one-day event, do not think that you've ruined months or years of mindful eating in one day. Thanksgiving is all about being around family and friends, and literally be thankful for life and those people in your life. Do not stress over the meal you had. Research shows stress can increase blood pressure, blood sugar levels, calorie intake leading to increased weight, and can decrease the amount of sleep you may get. Relax, and tell yourself “I will start fresh tomorrow!”

Do not go on a crash diet

You may decide that with an overindulgence of one Thanksgiving meal, you will need a crash diet. This is NOT recommended! Please remember that food from each food group provides the body with many benefits. The whole grain group provides the energy you need to get our day started and keep the day going strong. The protein group is essential as the building block of muscles, blood, skin, and bones. The fruit and vegetable groups provide vitamins, minerals, and fiber throughout the body. The dairy group provides vitamins and minerals that are essential for bone and cardiovascular health. The healthy fats are important in utilizing fat-soluble vitamins D, E, K, and A, helps maintain the body organs in place, and helps keep the body warm. Make sure to get a variety of foods, not only to reap the benefits but to also enjoy the taste of food!

Return to your normal diet and workout routine

Continue with life; try to accomplish the goals you set with your registered dietitian nutritionist. Continue eating healthy foods in controlled portions, and continue with a normal workout routine. Thanksgiving is over, appreciate it for what it was and go on with life.

Using leftovers in a healthy manner

Now, I definitely know that you have at least one leftover item; we all came home with leftovers. What about trying to make a healthy meal using those leftovers? Let’s discuss super simple methods to include those leftovers into regular everyday meals.

  • The easiest method is to leave the food as is, and just serve yourself small portion sizes as a meal.
  • Add 3 oz of turkey breast on top of a green salad (Please check with the CDC for use of romaine lettuce at the time of publication of this blog).
  • Make a whole grain sandwich using whole wheat bread, 3 oz turkey breast, onion, tomato, spinach, 1 Tbsp hummus, 1 tsp mustard.
  • Add the leftover green bean and mushroom casserole to your morning eggs.
  • Instead of syrup, use cranberry sauce on top of whole wheat pancakes.
  • Add an egg to the stuffing and make small patties from it and cook on stove top.

Again, appreciate the Thanksgiving holiday for its meaning, and the wonderful memories you have made from getting together with friends and family. Moving forward, you can try to accomplish your goals during the next holiday that is just around the corner, Christmas!

If you want to learn more about our LEAN Freedom Wellness Program that shows you how to put meal and snacks together without counting, tracking or fuss, visit our LEAN Freedom Wellness Program page here.

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