Well, the quick answer is: You don’t!

Not really, but you have to be prepared, both mentally and physically. I’m of two minds on this. You can prep and have your own Thanksgiving meal, with everything under your control. The issue is that for most of us, Thanksgiving is about getting together and eating with family. There is the rub, sometimes, most times there is food that you don’t want to eat, but really can’t resist. What is a healthy-eater to do?

If you want to stay on the straight and narrow, not fall off your weight loss regime, or not want to flare anything with “bad” food, you need to walk in prepped mentally and physically. Mentally let yourself know that this isn’t the last time that pumpkin pie, gravy, etc is going to be offered. (Honestly, it’s not). Physically, fill up on whatever healthy food is there. Overindulge in salad, veggies and if you have to, have an extra helping of potatoes to fill you up. Don’t expect to make it through the meal if all you are doing is torturing yourself. Even better, fill up on some type of healthy food BEFORE you even get to Grammy’s house. If they push you on dessert, let them know how full you are, then placate them by bringing some home. You don’t have to tell them you gave it away or even threw it out! I don’t advocate wasting food, but eating healthy is a discipline most Americans just don’t get.

On the other hand….do you want to overeat? Please note, I am not giving anyone permission to binge!! Just don’t, really don’t. You will only feel lousy and be mad at yourself. So, take a long walk in the morning. When’s the last time you saw all of the park or your favorite beach? Get out, walk more than you normally do. Still, set yourself up for some type of healthy eating by not showing up starving. Eat some apples, celery or a salad. Then you won’t feel bad about having gravy or some type of unhealthy side dish. Plan on walking after your meal, then you won’t feel bad about having that piece of pie. Walk in the morning, walk after the meal. You can then feel free to indulge yourself with a dessert. Many of the pies are enjoyable even if you eat just the filling. Most of your friends and family are aware of gluten issues, so I have never had anyone remark when I have left most of the pie crust on my plate. My family knows me, people who don’t just assume I have a gluten allergy or don’t like crust!

Remember if you are a strict eater, the heavy fat of a Thanksgiving meal will more than likely bring on some type of discomfort. Be careful and carefully decide what you will indulge yourself with. Again, I cannot stress enough that if you plan on overindulging, have a full healthy meal before the Thanksgiving meal, i.e, a big healthy lunch if your thanksgiving meal will be dinner. You will only overeat if you have skipped or skimped on the meal before.

Remember, health and weight loss is more marathon than a sprint. Do a bit more than your best and enjoy the holiday. If you do overdo it, don’t sweat, just get back on the horse this Black Friday!