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5 Steps for a Guilt-free Thanksgiving

Bag of veggies photo for guilt free thanksgiving

Staying Healthy During Thanksgiving and the Winter Holidays

1. Exercise early

If you start your day with exercise, then you will have a calorie deficit before you indulge in your favorite foods. Have you considered participating in a fun run? Thanksgiving Day is a popular time for community walks and runs.

2. Eat breakfast

Eating a small meal in the morning can give you more control over your appetite. Start your day with a small breakfast so you won’t be starving when you sit down for the Thanksgiving feast.

3. Portion control

Thanksgiving meals offer a variety of foods to choose from. Before you fill your plate with everything, survey the options and decide what you want to choose. Then select reasonable portions of the foods that you want. Remember, if you keep your portions small, you can enjoy whatever foods you like.

4. Lighten up

Try healthier recipes with less fat, sugar and calories. You can do this by reducing oil and butter or by using fat-free chicken broth in the gravy and baste the turkey. And, check out the below delicious alternative to traditional pumpkin pie. Save calories without sacrificing any of the flavors by preparing pumpkin parfaits.

Healthy and delicious pumpkin parfait recipe


  • ½ cup Greek vanilla yogurt
  • ½ cup pure pumpkin
  • 2-4 tsp (depending on desired taste) of cinnamon
  • Low-sugar whipped cream
  • 1 crunchy peanut butter granola bar
  • 1 tsp honey (optional)


smash the granola bar into pieces and set the pieces aside. Mix the pure pumpkin with the vanilla yogurt. Add in cinnamon (and honey if desired). Top with light whipped cream. (approximately 4 tbsp. or as desired). Sprinkle crumbled granola bar on top and enjoy.

pumpkin parfait

5. Avoid hot topics

This is especially important if you are an emotional eater. It may not be wise to bring up politics or other sore spots if you want to avoid stress. Instead, choose to focus on more positive and less controversial topics.

From all of us here at Network Health, we hope you and yours have a wonderful and meaningful Thanksgiving holiday. To learn more about how your Wisconsin-based health plan can help you get the most out of every holiday and every day throughout the year, contact us today.

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