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Plan ahead to eat healthy over Thanksgiving break

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and most of us are looking forward to seeing our families, relaxing a little and eating delicious turkey dinners.

How can we avoid overeating or eating too unhealthy this Thanksgiving? Melanie Schell, faculty member in the Division of Health Sciences, offers three tips on how to eat healthy over break.

The first is to practice mindful eating. “We tend to do more mindless eating,” Schell said. “[We] just kind of graze through the Thanksgiving table, and the desserts and snacks and leftovers. Instead, consider your options and [don’t] just eat the first thing that comes to mind.”

Stephen Laufenberg, a sophomore health sciences major, added that people tend to eat too much in a short period of time on Thanksgiving. “If you’re going to eat a lot of food, it’s much better to space that out over a longer period of time,” Laufenberg said.

Schell’s second tip is to stay hydrated. Intentionally drinking plenty of water helps keep you full and prevents you from overeating.

Third, keep up with any physical activity goals you already had. “If you’re being physically active, there’s more wiggle room in your diet for that second piece of pumpkin pie,” Schell said.

Alexis Amos, a senior health sciences major, recommends trying to avoid drinking a lot of calories. “Sometimes we can forget that drinks have calories too—and lots of sugar,” Amos said.

Amos suggested opting for something like water or tea sweetened with honey instead. Loading your plate with plenty of vegetables will also help you from eating too much.

Amos suggested also eating breakfast the morning of Thanksgiving so that you don’t overload your stomach with a big Thanksgiving meal. Amos emphasized the importance of enjoying yourself.

“Overall, try to be health conscious, but don’t deny yourself a certain food if you want it,” Amos said. “Enjoy the food and time spent with family and friends!”