One big holiday meal will not do you in if you eat sensibly and exercise regularly the days following Thanksgiving.

Getting back on track after Thanksgiving

Healthy Breakfast

The day after Thanksgiving, get right back into an eating schedule. Eat three meals. Eat breakfast within one hour of getting up. Eat dinner no closer than four hours to bedtime.

The good news is that one big holiday meal will not do you in if you eat sensibly and exercise regularly the days following Thanksgiving. It takes 3,500 calories additional calories to gain one pound of body fat, so it’s unlikely that a single overindulgence on a single day will show up on the scale.

You may be tempted to compensate for the extra calories eaten on Thanksgiving Day by skipping meals the next day. But skipping breakfast or lunch will only leave you hungry and at risk for overeating later in the day. Here is what a get-back-on-track healthy eating routine might look like:

  • Breakfast: A bowl of crunchy whole-grain cereal topped with vanilla yogurt and berries or peanut butter and banana slices on whole-grain English muffin
  • Mid-morning snack: A piece of seasonal fruit and an ounce of low-fat cheese
  • Lunch: A big salad with leftover turkey, green peas for the starch, and salad dressing
  • Afternoon snack: A cup of vegetable soup and an orange
  • Dinner: Broiled fish, baked sweet potatoes and plenty of vegetables
  • Bedtime snack: Frozen pureed fruit bar

Other healthy tips:

  1. Skip the scale - After a feast, your weight is bound to be inflated - not because of an increase in body fat, but because of water retention brought on by the excess salt you likely ate.
  2. Skip any beverages that contain calories. Bypass alcohol.
  3. Enjoy more fruits and vegetables.
  4. Stick to your normal exercise routine.
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