Kick off the holiday season with a healthier Thanksgiving - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Kick off the holiday season with a healthier Thanksgiving

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MONDAY, November 19 (HealthDay News) -- Lightening up recipes and focusing on family rather than food are just two of the ways people can enjoy a healthier Thanksgiving.

This advice comes from EmblemHealth, a not-for-profit insurer, which offered several tips on how to enjoy the holiday without overindulging, including:

Stay active. Taking a walk or playing football can burn calories and become a new family tradition.

Don't skip breakfast. A good breakfast can help curb appetite later in the day. People who are not too hungry are less likely to overeat at mealtime.

Modify recipes. Making small changes to traditional recipes to cut calories and fat can go a long way. Use less butter and oil when possible. Opt for fat-free chicken broth and fat-free yogurt instead of cream in dips, mashed potatoes and casseroles.

Control portions. Avoid going back for seconds and limit portion size.

Choose wisely. Only eat the foods that are unique to Thanksgiving and save ordinary foods for another day. Save some room for side dishes and dessert.

Don't rush. Eating slowly helps people enjoy their food and realize when they are full.

Limit alcohol. Calories from alcohol add up quickly. Alcohol also triggers cravings for high-calorie comfort foods. It's also a good idea to drink some water between alcoholic drinks.

Change the focus. Rather than concentrating only on food, remember that Thanksgiving is a holiday about family and friends as well. Find ways to enjoy quality time together, such as playing games or socializing.

Don't overindulge. Thanksgiving is a special occasion, but try not to continue indulging throughout the entire holiday season.

Be prepared. As holiday shopping kicks into high gear, remember to stock up on healthy snacks, such as trail mix and fruit, and drink plenty of water to avoid resorting to high-calorie fast foods.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides more tips for a safe and healthy Thanksgiving.

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