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A Healthy, Happy Thanksgiving: Without the Side of Guilt

Thanksgiving this year might look a little different. You may be celebrating with a small group or with family & friends via Zoom. Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on what we are thankful for and to celebrate with food! Check out my top five strategies for a healthy, happy, guilt-free Thanksgiving.


Don’t starve yourself all day in preparation for the big day. Eating regularly throughout the day will help you come to the table hungry, but not ravenous, which can lead to eating quickly and possibly eating more than your body needs. It can also feel super uncomfortable to go from ravenously hungry to stuffed to the brim in minutes. Your digestive system won’t like you here.

Be sure to eat a fueling breakfast with lots of protein and healthy fats, like:

  • Overnight oats with hemp hearts or chia seeds

  • Greek yogurt with granola, fruit, and nuts

  • Whole grain English muffin with avocado & feta or peanut butter and banana


Slow down, check in with your body every now and again. Put your fork and knife down. Have a sip of water (or wine). What is your body telling you? How hungry are you? Give yourself a chance to feel the sensations in your body and recognize and respond to them.


Your food choices are yours and yours alone. Don’t comment on anyone else’s plate (including your kids) about how much/little they are eating. Also, you may want to have a few phrases lined up if someone else comments on your plate, weight, diet, etc. “Hey, let’s not talk about dieting/weight/carbs, etc. on Thanksgiving. It makes it so hard to enjoy this meal that we worked so hard to prepare without feeling guilty.”


Smaller groups means less people to feed. So instead of buying a whole turkey, consider buying a smaller portion, such as a breast of turkey, this means less waste! Don’t like a certain dish? Skip it and don’t feel guilty about it. I personally don’t like stuffing so we are omitting it. No need to be traditional, everything is different this year anyways.


Holidays are a chance to connect with others, celebrate, and enjoy delicious food we don’t normally eat. It is very normal to eat more at this meal. But know that your body likes homeostasis and does not want to change shape (or size) and one meal won’t make you gain weight. Also, know that media hype on weight gain over the holiday season is overexaggerated by the diet industry to get you to buy their plans in January!

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