The fear of gaining weight from Thanksgiving till the New Year becomes somewhat of a regular obsession for many people—and with good reason. Surveys show that a good percentage of the population does put on a pound or two during the holiday season—and that it tends to stick for the rest of the year. So a focus on healthy eating is not a bad idea at all.

For everyone hoping to dodge that pound-or-two bullet, here’s a game plan for the first big hurdle: Thanksgiving. In addition to helping to keep those pounds at bay, it will help alleviate some of the anxiety surrounding this issue. Here are five tips to start you off a week before Thanksgiving. Next week, I’ll be back with tips for the actual day of, and the weekend after, tips for handling the post-Thanksgiving week—all in the hopes of leaving you not a pound heavier and maybe even a little calmer.

The week before Thanksgiving:

It doesn't have to be WPIX-TV's Thanksgiving workout, but remembeer to keep moving.

Stick to your regular exercise schedule. Now is not the time to be skimping on exercise!! Put your workout mode into high gear this week, since perhaps the weekend of Thanksgiving you might not be able to stick to your regular routine.

Keep your home stocked with healthy foods. The last thing you want to do is approach a holiday feeling like you’re already off-track with your healthy eating. To make it easier to stay on track the week before the holiday, you must have healthy foods on hand. Otherwise, it’s easy to make the wrong choices.

Dine out conscientiously. Since you might be making some healthy food exceptions on Thanksgiving Day, make sure that for now, every choice you make is a smart one. Whether it’s a quick lunch with a friend or a long business dinner, read the menu carefully and make healthy choices only. End your meal feeling pleased with your decisions.

Do not skip any meals.  I repeat, do not skip any meals. You do not want to start starving yourself for the big day, because I promise if you do, those plans with surely backfire.

Create your strategy for the day. Planning ahead is always a good idea when it comes to food and exercise. It’s okay to give yourself permission to take off from your normal routine on a holiday, if you do it mindfully. If you allow yourself to be blindsided, it might take you a whole lot more to get back on track.

Next week: Tips for the big day.

Join the conversation

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • Maryl November 24, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    You can prepare a Thanksgiving menu that is on the healthier side and it doesn’t mean getting rid of the centerpiece turkey. Health coach Ruth Hantman helped us with such a diet on our blog that can work with or without turkey, Thanks for all the tips. I’m off to Yoga!

  • RozWarren November 19, 2011 at 11:20 am

    I happen to think tofurky tastes EXACTLY like it sounds. 🙂 The Thanksgiving feast I share with Mark started out as turkey chili. It evolved into vegetarian chili. Now it’s vegan chili. I look forward to spending a quiet Thanksgiving relaxing in front of the fire with Mark, eating delicious chili, strolling to the library to empty the book drop, then returning home for pumpkin pie. if the weather cooperates, we’ll take Captain for a long walk. It’s an unconventional Thanksgiving but it works for us.

  • Chris Lombardi November 17, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    To be more detailed: We also eat corn, sweet potatoes and many other seasonal treats. And some veggie folks I know favor tofurkey, which tastes much better than it sounds….

  • RozWarren November 17, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    It means a meal without meat

  • Dr Pat Allen November 17, 2011 at 9:23 am


    Does that mean a meal with just “veggies”?


  • RozWarren November 17, 2011 at 7:00 am

    Two words of advice: vegan Thanksgiving.