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Along with holiday traffic and difficult family members, the number on the scale is one of the most common things people worry about when it comes to Thanksgiving. Here’s some good news, though! It’s totally possible to maintain your weight during Thanksgiving weekend! Here are a few of my go-to tips and tricks.

1. Start your day with protein. Skipping breakfast will only make you more prone to overeating at dinner (not to mention cranky!). Try a high-protein, high-fiber breakfast like Greek yogurt with chia seeds and fruit or a veggie-filled omelet.

2. Do something active. Whether you start your day with a walk, a sweaty yoga class, or a local turkey trot, getting your blood pumping will give you a great endorphin boost while you burn calories. Doing something good for you that makes you feel good will help you stick to your other health goals.

3. Have a plan. Decide before you sit down to eat which foods you’re excited to eat and make room for them. For example, if you love stuffing but don’t really care for mashed potatoes, skip the tots. You don’t have to eat some of everything just because it’s there. Share dessert with a family member if you don’t want to have to choose between cake and pie. Having some guidelines to fall back on help you stay grounded instead of stressed.

4. Stick to one plate. Be selective about what you put on it. However, don’t deprive yourself. Enjoy the foods you’re excited about and once the meal is over, know that you can move on with your life.

5. Go easy on the alcohol. Aside from lowering your inhibitions and providing empty calories, booze can also give you a nasty Black Friday hangover—not helpful for those 6 a.m. shopping excursions. Decide in advance how many alcoholic beverages you plan to drink and alternate with water.

If you’re staying with family for several days, these tips can get you through the weekend with your sanity and self-confidence intact. If you do indulge more than you intended to, resist the urge to beat yourself about it. Instead, take a deep breath, focus on how satisfying the treat was, and go on with the day.  Thanksgiving is a time to pause and take stock of what you’re grateful for, so give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back for all the hard work so far—and get excited for the stellar results you’re working towards!


Written by Jessica Cording, MS, RDN, CDN. Jessica is a Rise Coach and Registered Dietitian who lives in New York City. In addition to nutrition counseling, Jessica writes for various food/health publications and works with restaurants on menu development. Want to work with Jessica or another Rise coach like her? Get started at