Thanksgiving is a holiday devoted to eating good food. For those of us who are working on trimming and toning, this may seem like the ultimate roadblock on our road to perfect health. It doesn’t have to be! While there are a lot of ways to overindulge this holiday season, making your Thanksgiving meal and inevitable leftovers work for you is easier than you might think.


Let’s start with the main dish. Packed with protein, your digestion will slow and you will absorb more carbs when you help yourself to some of this bird. This might sound scary, but it means your body will be able to regulate blood sugar levels better and you’ll feel fuller longer. You don’t need to worry about avoiding turkey this week, but if you want to make it even healthier, try to avoid the skin and limit the sauces and gravies.


A Thanksgiving tradition, stuffing is either loved or hated. If you’re on the fence because of your diet, don’t fret! Made with whole-grains, this dish can be one serving of whole grains for the day (you should aim for three servings). Grains help your body feel fuller, meaning you won’t overeat. This can help maintain weight over time, but also grains are a great source of B vitamins and fiber. Your heart will thank you later for indulging in these bread crumbs.

3.) Veggies

At Thanksgiving dinner there is always an option for some good greens. In this case, this means try to load up on non-starchy vegetables. Some of these include carrots, brussels sprouts, green beans, and salad. While you can still portion out some starchy mashed potatoes and bit of corn, non-starchy vegetables contain smaller amounts of carbs and are rich in vitamins and minerals including Vitamins C, A, and K. Improve your bone health and boost your immune system with the right veggies this week.

4.) Dessert

Always save room for dessert—especially on Thanksgiving! Apple pie, Sweet potato pie, and pumpkin pie are filled with some of the best super foods. Packed with antioxidants and vitamins, these after dinner dishes are a great way to end the night if approached correctly. Don’t pile on the whipped cream or ice cream, and you can enjoy these pies with a clear conscience, because though they are loaded with good things, they are also made with lots of sugars. So enjoy your pie, but don’t over do it and negate all the work you did throughout the evening.

Above all, Thanksgiving is one night a year, so indulge in the good food your friends and family have made, and enjoy the time you have to think about all the things you have to be thankful for.