Hopefully, you’ve been able to put some of last week’s pre-Thanksgiving health and fitness tips into action. Now, here are some pointers for making it through the big day.

On Thanksgiving Day

Don’t skip any meals. You might notice this tip also appeared last week. That’s because it is so crucial to your success. Depending on the time your holiday meal will be served, you’ll probably need to eat a regular breakfast and lunch. Skipping meals will only make you hungrier and more likely to overeat during the festivities, whether you consciously planned for it or not.

Grab a snack before you leave (or before company arrives).  To ensure you have more control over what you put in your mouth, it always is a good idea to have a small snack ahead of time. Also, having food in your stomach before you start with cocktails may help keep the overeating excuses to a minimum.

Thanksgiving 2010. (Photo: Ryan Sandberg, flickr)

Squeeze in some “fun time.” Your day doesn’t have to only be about eating. My family breaks it up with a little friendly game of ping pong (okay, maybe not so friendly—we’re all a little competitive) or a game of Scrabble (then again, that was before we got addicted to Words with Friends). Go for a walk, play a game of touch football—just find something to do to get you away from the food.

Be picky. No one likes a picky eater or to be one, but if there ever was a good time to be one, it could be at a holiday meal. In other words, you don’t need to eat everything that is put in front of you. If you want mashed potatoes, go for it. But maybe that means you have a little less of the green bean casserole or skip the stuffing. Want the pumpkin pie? Enjoy your slice, but maybe skip the ice cream.

Leave the leftovers behind (or give them away). What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. If you did overindulge, no worries, just leave it behind you—literally. Do not accept any leftovers to bring home, no matter how much your host pushes them on you, unless it is turkey. And if you are the host, make sure you have plenty of containers that you can pack with food and give away as your guests walk out the door.

Next week: Getting right back on track.

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